Michelle Wittle On Wait Time

Michelle Wittle On, Writing Tips

It isn’t easy when you have A.D.D. and you are trying to become a writer. You want everything to happen now and that isn’t how the writing community works. I will write something and send it away. Three months later I get an email saying “no thanks.” Or the opposite happens and that is what I want to talk about today.


I have noticed that a lot of my writing career happens when I am sleeping. My stuff gets published and I don’t even know it. I’ll send book reviews out and then a few months later, I’ll get an email and there is my review waving “hi” to me. I wrote a blog about the speed dating part of “Push to Publish” event a few weeks ago and I just saw that the blog is now up on the web. I am not complaining about this at all. I am thrilled to see when something I write gets “picked up.” It just creeps me out because it’s happening and I don’t even know it.


I’ll write something and then I want it immediately published and read. I know I am not alone in this because people are impatient. But, if you want to be a writer, this is just another thing you have to accept about the community.


Being a writer means waiting. It takes a long time for writers to hear the fate of their work. Then, when you finally get that acceptance letter, it will take some more time to actually see your work in print.


Why does it take so long?


It takes time for the editors to read your work and make a decision on it. Most magazines have many readers who will look over your work; it is hardly ever just one person making the choice. So, once your readers make a decision on your work your work could go two ways. Either your story goes to the next round or you get a rejection letter. If it goes to the next round, that means even more people are reading your work and more people have to agree if your work is up to the standards of the magazine. It is at that point that your work gets the final thumbs up or down.


Then it is off to get published. Rewrites and editing await your piece and that causes your piece to take longer to get published.


So, it could take months for a writer to hear about his or her work. While it isn’t easy for a writer to have to wait for an answer, at least understanding the process your piece goes through can help ease your mind a little. Also, if you know what happens to your piece, you can help the editors out a bit. Make sure you are not wasting the editors’ time sending them something they wouldn’t publish anyhow. Look over your work and make sure it is clear of spelling and grammar mistakes. Lastly, send something out and just forget about it. Always keep a few stories out in circulation and make sure you are always working on some new piece. This will keep your mind active and it will be easier to keep your mind off of the inbox.     


4 thoughts on “Michelle Wittle On Wait Time

  1. Hi Michelle,

    I know that blog that posted your Speed Dating piece as you slept. (I used to work with them until recently. In fact, I started the blog). Being a team blog they put work in the queue so it will post at regular intervals. Otherwise a bunch of stuff would go up one day and nothing the next. I agree, waiting is the tough part, but you and your readers can take heart. As I mentioned in one of my posts on zine writer, the Christmas Rush is coming. I’ve noticed that lots of editors like to clean off their desks before the end of the year, leading to lots of responses coming in with the holiday greetings.

  2. Nannette:
    Thanks for making the point about posts going into a queue. I think that is another part of the publishing side of things that people tend to forget happens. It is a very realistic and practical thing to do (having a queue) and it makes a lot of sense.
    I always second guess myself. I always wonder if I should continue working towards becoming a writer. These little surprises (blogs going up and book reviews being posted) always help me to feel like I am indeed doing the right thing.
    Again, thank you for your input.

  3. Yes, absolutely. Being a writer requires enormous patience, something I don’t typically have. Or didn’t. Until I trained myself, day by day, not to rush too hard toward my dreams. To let some things happen almost nearly on their own.

  4. Dear Beth,
    Thanks for the comment. I think a lot of writers forget that we have to have patience and wait. There is a lot of training that goes into writing. it isn’t about just writing words on paper and then BAM! you are a published author.
    You bring up a great point and thank you for taking the time to stop in and share.

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