Wednesday, May 23, 2012

8 Stages of Waiting to Be Published


I’ve had a blast these past few Wednesdays creating 8 Stagesof Writing a Novel & 8 Stages of Procrasti-writing.

For my last 8 Stages of…I’m going to tackle the big bad beast of WAITING.
As with grief, when we wait we often feel like things are out of our control. Especially if we’re trying to get published traditionally waiting can become excruciating. But as with all things, it can also be what we make of it. Today I’m making a little fun with it. It’s what I do. Laugh to stay sane.
Quick review of the stages of grief:
Denial & Isolation
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance

Now for the 8 Stages of Waiting to Be Published:

Blessed Naivety
No idea how long this will take. But I’m good at waiting. I’ve got this. No biggie. I’ll just keep busy and the time will fly. (Any published authors laughing yet?)

Denial & Isolation

This is what I like to call the fanciful denial stage. I tell myself I’m not waiting. I get all wrapped up in some massive project. But at some point, likely when the project is nearing an end, I’m sure to bump up against feelings of isolation. I come down with an Eeyore bug. “I’m all alone in the world.” (*See* Frodo in spider’s lair before he finds the Elven light, Phial of Galadriel). “Everyone else is getting published.” Ho hum.
 
Anger
 
What the hey? Why is this taking so long? I get all Sally Field on myself. Like me…somebody like me! And then I get all Cheap Trick on myself. I want you to want me! Dagnabit.

Bargaining

What can I do to speed this thing along? I’ll write more. I’ll build a platform so impressive it rivals the Taj Mahal. I’ll sell my kidney. No, no I wouldn’t do that…unless…

Depression

Woe is me. Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, why don’t I go eat worms.

Stubborn Persistence

Yeeha Grandpa. Hop back up on my saddle. Remember why I’m in this. Fall back in love with writing. Doin’ my thang.

Acceptance

Here’s where I experience the “Alladin” moment. You know, when Alladin is chillin’ on the magic carpet outside Jasmine’s palace balcony. He holds his hand out to her and says, “Do you trust me?” Pretty sure I’ve heard my agent utter those exact same words to me. (Like how I made you Alladin in this example, Rachelle?) J

Between my own skill, my agent, and my God, I need to find the courage to leap off the balcony (sounds crazy, but we’re writers, we get it.)

Elation

Well, would you look at that, they offered a contract! Go figure. Waiting is over. Ha! (Laughing harder now, published authors?)

And somehow we fling ourselves through each stage over and over again. We do the Maytag merry-go-round as we cycle through these all too familiar emotions.

Notice how similar the Stages of Waiting are to the Stages of Grief? Hmm…Which stage do you feel like you’re in right now?

*photo by stock.XCHNG

25 comments:

  1. Pretty accurate. I think I'm moving from the bargaining stage to depression at the moment and trying to move straight to persistence.
    But I'm not even close to getting published, I still have to find an agent willing to represent me and it feels so very far off! Oh dear, sounds like I am in that depressed stage- good thing I don't do well with doing nothing!

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    1. TC, I know exactly how you feel. I think this can be the most dangerous time in an aspiring writer's life--when we're so close yet so far away. We've worked for years to get to this level and things still don't seem to be happening. It's tough! *hugs*

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  2. I'm right where you are TC. Waiting...not on publication...on an agent to see how brilliant my writing is...cough, cough...see I still have a teeny bit of humor left...okay, closer to depression too, but not giving up.

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  3. Wendy, is there a temporary insanity stage? Cuz that's where I'm at! Yikes! I'm so level-headed usually, but right now I'm a scattered nut! Well, I'm sure that's due to the other stuff going on too. But I'll blame it on the writing... ;)

    Loved this!

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  4. Lol. Going all Cheap Trick. You make me laugh, W. Great post!!

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  5. Hilariously correct! It's JUST like that! I'm in that blissful state: one book published, the second coming in October, the third signed and nearly written. But yes, this is how the waiting for a response feels. Just like this!

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  6. Okay, I'm cracking up at Cheap Trick! Seriously. Oh, I guess I'm at stubborn persistence. Hopping back on my saddle and plotting new story ideas while editing a ms.

    This was awesome. You're right, I did get a kick out of it! :)

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  7. Wendy, Been through 'em all, both the grief process and the writing angst. Your descriptions are spot on. And I'm happy to say that God got me through both of them. Thanks for sharing this.

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  8. Ha! I love it Wendy! Now you need to cover the stages of 'being' published, although it looks remarkably similar to 8 stages of grief as well.

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  9. LOL Can I be in all the stages? I kept reading them and saying, oh, that one, then no, that one. My stage changes with my mood, how 'bout that. lol

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  10. This is so true. I've been through them all! I'm probably at the elation end now that I'm nearing publication, but I have to admit, these other feelings creep in now and again with self doubts and worry, and most definitely the need to persist on those late night editing deadlines :) Great post!

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  11. Yup, I get this...except the final stage...haven't lived that one yet!

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  12. Loved the Cheap Trick reference.

    These are pretty accurate. I think there's definitely an insanity stage, like Jill suggested. But I think EVERYTHING has an insanity stage. I feel a bit insane lately.

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  13. Love this! So very true. What shocks me is how quickly I can cycle through these all in the same day! :D

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  14. Going all Sally Field on myself. Bahaha. You have a way with words, my friend.

    I'm not sure what stage I'm in. I think since I haven't been at this too long, maybe I'm still in the blessed naivete. I mean, I know how long it COULD take, but since I haven't really put myself out there a whole lot, I have no idea how long it will even take to get an agent. We'll see...

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  15. These are hilarious!!
    I feel like the puppy in the kennel with the tin cup, clanging it back and forth, singing "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" while getting kicked to the curb by the cute cheerleaders...how's that for #5?
    But I feel #8 a' comin'!!!
    Out there on the horizon is my well tanned knight, revving the engine of his cherry red, ragtop Karmann Ghia, holding a chilled beverage in one hand and a contract in the other.

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  16. This is awesome, LOL. I'm mostly in "stubborn persistence", with occasional dips backward into depression or forward into acceptance. It's a long road.

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  17. I'm defintely in the "Blessed Naivety" stage - I keep thinking, if only I could get my WIP all wrapped up, it will be smooth sailing from here... Why do we still go through these stages when we know what they are and what is coming? I'm forever amazed at the human condition.

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  18. Hi Wendy,

    Great engaging post!

    I'm not that far along in the process, but I am waiting for a response to a query. I think each writing stage has its challenges.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  19. Yes, the elation piece made me laugh. I've realized after publication there's just as many precipes to climb!

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  20. Oh Wendy, I love you, you know that, right? This made me smile, nod, and think, "I am absolutely insane for wanting to join the waiting game." :)

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  21. So appreciative of the comments here today. Hoping to get a chance to respond to each one of you individually tomorrow. It's crazy May around here.

    Don't forgot: We are IN THIS together!
    ~ Wendy

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  22. It's mind boggling to me how many writers go through these stages over and over and still keep chasing the dream. I don't have an agent and I've not been published. I think I'm stuck in the submit/rejection cycle. Each time I pitch at a conference most of the professionals are interested but then after the wait, it feels like Im going back to square one. But really Im not - it's all for gain. Im one of the "can't let go" writers we all know and love. As a conference director, I can't quit -what kind of example would I be! :)

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  23. Hi friend! I am back to reading and writing blogs... it is great to be back. I wish I could say that after you are published all of these feelings go away. :)

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  24. Sorry that was Jennie- not zac. :)

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