Waiting on a Submission?

Hard truth: the waiting doesn't stop after you get published.

When you’re waiting to hear back on a submission, it feels like time moves at a snails pace. Worse, even. What’s slower than a snail? That’s how badly the hours seem to drag.

The constant checking of your email, scrolling through your Twitter feed (just in case the editor your following/stalking-in-a-totally-non-creepy-way announces that they have a ‘special call’ to make), checking your phone for missed calls from New York numbers…


The only thing you can do is GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE. Trust me, your sanity will thank you. But in case you have no idea what to do next, here'd a handy to list to give you some inspiration.

  1. Get working on SOMETHING ELSE – a new project is always a great distraction. Try planning out a new story or get back to one of those unfinished projects gathering dust on your hard drive.
  2. Keep Writing – this might seem like the same as point one, but writing doesn’t have to mean working on projects for submission. I enjoy blogging and writing educational material, but you might want to dabble in a different medium like poetry, non fiction etc. Just keep those writerly muscles moving.
  3. Pick up a book you’ve been dying to read – what's been on your TBR for so long you'd be embarrassed to tell a friend about it? Go and read it now.
  4. Reconnect with the people you neglected while you were in writing cave– remember those people whose faces fill your photographs…yeah? You should probably call them.
  5. Clean the house – I’m not joking, cleaning is a great distraction and if you’re anything like me this is one area that gets neglected when you’re on a deadline.
  6. Exercise – see point #6
  7. Get involved in the writing community – there are plenty of ways to do this, join a writer’s group, volunteer with your local writing organisation, find a critique partner or join a forum. If you’re going to wait, you may as well have company.
  8. Do SOMETHING ELSE – when you’re stuck in the writing cave it can feel all consuming. Take some time to do something other than writing or editing. For me, it's sewing and playing boardgames with my husband. Try learning a new skill or exploring a different part of your city.
  9. Support another author  – There’s plenty of space for all of us in the writing world, so why not support an author you love by tweeting about their book? Or you could write a review on Amazon or Good Reads. What goes around comes around!
  10. Prepare for The Call – nothing wrong with a little wishful thinking right? Have you got a website, a social media presence, any of the things you’d like to have in place when an editor calls and says those magical four words “we want your book”? Maybe it’s my inner girl scout, but I’d like to be prepared…just in case.