Now let me tell you a little story. On Saturday I decided to take my two youngest children to a swine flu vaccination clinic in my city (the clinic was only for children 6 months to 4 years so my 5- year-old didn't qualify). So, because I am a very conscientious parent, I decided we would go an hour early just so we could get a good place in line and definitely get the vaccine. I also talked my two sister-in-laws into bringing their children and coming with me.
We arrived at the very large empty shopping complex where the health department was administering the vaccines and stood in line with several thousand other early people at 9:00 AM. My children got vaccinated at 1:30 PM. All the time in between we spent freezing our little patoots off waiting in the parking lot (and trying to keep our 5 children under 4 from being hit by cars). It was an excruciating wait. 4+ hours is an eternity for kids that little--they were hungry, thirsty, cold, they needed to use the potty, they wanted to play in the street, they fought with each other--it was MISERABLE.
My writing group girls and I have recently been discussing how difficult it is to WAIT during every portion of our journey to publication.
Write Book--Wait. Revise. Send to beta readers--Wait. Revise. Send to agents--WAIT. Get an agent-- CELEBRATE! Revise. Agent sends to editors--WAIT. Get offer--CELEBRATE! Wait for editor revisions. Revise. WAIT. WAIT. WAIT. Book comes out! Do it all over again.
Publishing is not a business for impatient people. There is no instant gratification. Everything takes a long time--kind of like the line for swine flu vaccines.
When we got home from the clinic I said to my 4-year-old. "It's been a really hard morning, huh?" She looked at me funny so I tried again. "Wasn't it terrible standing in line all morning?"
She replied, "No mom. I got to play with my cousins."
I learned two things on Saturday. 1. No wait could ever be as bad as four-and-a-half hours in a freezing cold parking lot with 5 tiny children. And 2. If we keep ourselves busy with other fun things the painfully slow publishing business won't seem quite so painfully slow.
So I'll ask you: Are you doing something while you wait? Are you writing that next book? Are you staying busy with other things in life?