Tuesday, 23 June 2009


It’s so hard to be patient in this game. But we must. The cogs of this industry can move so slowly at times.

It can take an Agent several months to respond to a submission, many more months to respond to a full, and if you are honouring an exclusive on that full the wait can seem interminable.

I think if it wasn’t for the short stories I have out in circulation I would go crazy waiting. But fortunately the turn around on shorts can be much quicker - can be – but not always. I’ve had short stories tied up for over a year before now – and even once it is accepted it can be a long time before it appears in print. One contract I recently signed said the story would appear sometime in the next three years. So even here the turnaround can be very slow.

But patience is also important in the writing process itself. So many people finish their novel or story and then rush to submit. It’s so tempting to do. I’ve done it myself in the past, and watched the rejections rolling in. Why? Because the story wasn’t ready.

The editing phase is vital. It mustn’t be skimped. Put your work aside. Write something new. Do something else. Have a holiday. And come back to it fresh. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll see that needs to be done.

So I just have to try to be patient – only I’m not a very patient person.

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