By Carol Gordon Ekster
I did a blog hop awhile back and the talented Sarah Albee was one of the authors I interviewed. I remember she said the hardest thing for her about writing is the waiting. Wow! She put words to an unsettling feeling I’ve had since I started writing twelve years ago. The publishing world did not mesh with my life as I was leading it. I taught fourth grade for 35 years. In teaching, everything is much more immediate. I marked all papers and projects the day I got them. Remediation should be quick. You want students’ misunderstandings cleared up as soon as possible before they are difficult to unlearn. When a parent wrote a note or called or e-mailed, my response was given by the end of that day. I am not a patient lady, never have been. Then how did I ever get into the world of publishing? Perhaps so I could work on becoming a more patient person? I’ve certainly been frustrated by all the waiting I’ve had to endure, but I’ve learned not only that I can wait but that sometimes waiting is a good thing.
When I first started writing, I didn’t wait long enough before I sent out submissions. I was always in a hurry to get the manuscript out. Ahh…if I had only let it simmer more, revised more, I think I would have had less rejections. And then when I’d get a bite, I had to wait for that definite yes, and then wait longer for the contract to come in the mail. And then for my first book, Where Am I Sleeping Tonight? (A Story of Divorce), it took two years from the time of acceptance to hold that book in my hand. I wondered if it would ever happen!
It has continued to be a waiting game. But it is a game I want to play. This is the world of publishing and I’ve decided to embrace this aspect of it since I can’t change it. So it is with joy that I wait to lay eyes on the illustrations for my third book, coming out in January 2015. I have not seen a sketch yet, but hold onto the belief that it will be best to see the entire book when it is ready for me to proof. And I await responses from editors who have shown interest in my other manuscripts. I have decided to be excited about the possibilities. I truly trust in the process. Even after many rejections for a specific manuscript, I know that if it is to be a book one day, it is simply a matter of waiting for the right time, the right revision, the right publisher. And it doesn’t hurt to know that Dr. Seuss also waited… through 27 rejections until he got his first book published. So if you’d like to come along with me on this roller-coaster ride of children’s publishing, get ready to wait! And while you’re waiting, keep writing!
What makes the wait worthwhile for you?