Road to Publication: Hurry Up and Wait

After weeks of frantic effort, I returned my revised manuscript for Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road to the publisher a day before its July 1st deadline. And now I wait.

I’m learning that in publishing there are deadlines and there are dead times.

Did you know you could read a sneak preview of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road online? My literary essay "The Truth About Spam" published by clamp is based on a scene in my book. Click here to read it.
Did you know you could read a sneak preview of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road online? My literary essay “The Truth About Spam” published by clamp is based on a scene in my book. Click here to read it.

I met the deadline of providing the publisher a revised manuscript. As I wrote a few weeks ago, it is significantly reduced in word count now. I also removed more of my bugaboos: overly complicated sentences, passive verbs, and randomly placed commas.

Now I enter a summer dead time. The next hard deadline comes in September, a month out of the book’s soft launch. That is when I must sign off on the galley version of the book. Everything that happens in between–their additional edits to the manuscript and my follow-up edits, the design and acceptance of a cover, etc.–occurs when it works for the publisher. After all, I’m not their only author.

So perhaps I will make use of this time to work on a marketing plan for Committed, which right now exists more in my head than in reality. Oh, and maybe I’ll find some time for generative writing on a completely unrelated project. It’s been a while since I’ve done that.

Is there anything in your life right now that has you hurrying up to wait?

Oh, and in completely unrelated news, registration for my next online Loft Literary course “Becoming a Standout Blogger” is now open. The six-week course begins October 13th, and the early registration discount is good until August 22nd. Tell your friends!


12 thoughts on “Road to Publication: Hurry Up and Wait

  1. pjreece

    Ah, the waiting. It’s good if you can forget all about it. Who knows what might happen to the publisher in the meantime? They might be bought out by a house that only publishes motorcycle manuals. Paper might go extinct. WorldWarZ+one might hit. In any event, if enough time lapses, you will forget, and then what a joy when your book shows up in the mail. “What’s this? Wow, this looks interesting. I wonder who sent me this? Oh! that’s me on the cover. Oh, yeah! my book! Cool.” Surprised by one’s own creation. I aspire to such non-attachment. That said… I want to be the first to read your book. I can’t wait!


      1. HA! Fully understand that. “Down time” means time to handle all of the things that weren’t handled during “full throttle” time for me, too. 😉 I’ll do fine, thanks! (Taking time for a quick nap right now, then back to it!)


  2. It always thrills me to realise that 12 months on, most things that were important, are no longer important.
    Life is defined by 5 episodic events at any one time. Just list those events and realise that each remembered one moulded a career or life course. Nothing else stands out because most things are just dealt with and forgotten, or simply registered as important and completed.
    If we plan to achieve and plan to grieve – then everything remains within our powers of control. By taking control, deadlines are imposed from within – not from without.
    I always enjoy your posts Patrick, they are human and offer insight that is greatly appreciated.B.


  3. I don’t know if you’re still getting excited by all these milestones, Patrick (even if they feel like they’re in a slow queue to show up) but I’m getting excited FOR you. And then, once it’s out there are people are buying it – a whole world of potential new projects to get your teeth into. Even more exciting!

    I did my ‘hurry up and wait’-ing last week, organising my wee laddie’s eighth birthday party. It felt like none of it was going to come together in the days leading up to it – until the big day came and it… just did. Now all that’s left is a metric tonne of Minecraft Island birthday cake – funny, it didn’t look that huge before I put the icing on it…

    Can’t wait to finally hold that book in my little paw!


  4. Whenever there’s a submission deadline, that’s the way it is for me. But I’m pretty much ALways this way with the many things I try to accomplish. I push, push, push, trying to get things done, and usually the life-interference keeps me waiting to finish. Glad you’ll have the wait time, actually, to focus on other things 🙂

    And…I shared 🙂


  5. Typically, whenever I’m in a “hurry up and wait” stage, it’s just before a deluge of work overtakes me. When I finished my novel last year, I started querying agents and waited, waited, waited, I swear I could hear the clock tick….and I have a digital timepiece! It doesn’t get any worse than that. So then a friend suggested I write something new, to take my mind off the waiting, so I did. And then I continued to experience tough times with agents, which led me to my current project, which is to build a blog. I’m only in the beginning stages, but it’s led to a lot of work–again, right after a hurry up and wait period. So, in other words, Patrick, I think you’re smart to look for new opportunities while you’re waiting for the galleys…your marketing plan or the blogging course. Looks like you’re heading in the right direction. Joe


      1. Thanks! I’ll well behind on some branding decisions that need to be made for the blog (which I’m in the process of rectifying), but I appreciate the kind comment about the post.


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