10 Ways to Wait

10 things to do while waiting 8 months to hear from an editor on a requested revision


What would you add to this list?

  1. Check your email every 15 minutes. Alternately, leave your email program on and the volume set to high, so that it bellows at you, “You’ve got mail,” and you can run delete the spam.
  2. Daily, write anguished letters to the editor about how you know you should have fixed that lazy verb in paragraph 11 of page 121, but you just didn’t notice it until seventeen days after you sent it. Let the letters stack up in the fireplace for the weekly ritual of burning them.
  3. Make a large X through the day on each of the 21 calendars in your house. When husband asks if he’s forgotten an important day, just sigh and walk away. Enjoy the flowers he brings home.
  4. Haunt online forums for any mention of the editor’s activity on other manuscripts. When you discover other activity, cry all night long.
  5. Pick up the phone to call the editor and put it down undialed at least a dozen-dozen times a day. When you develop repetitive stress disorders in your hands and arms, purchase a Blue-tooth.
  6. Swear to your best friend that you will absolutely die if you don’t hear today. Cough violently to convince her this is true.
  7. Write an essay comparing this waiting period to sitting in a corner of a rattlesnake pit waiting for one of them to warm up, uncoil and notice you. Anything, any scrap of notice is better than this utter silence. Rejoice when the essay is published in the Artic Writers and Snakelover’s Newsletter, and spend the $1 payment on breath mints.
  8. Read an editor’s blog about how busy she is and feel the sympathy of a statue of rock salt. However, link to the editor’s blog from your blog and make sure your public sympathy is evident.
  9. Wait with every fiber of your being to see if Scheherazade’s curse will strike you: if there is no acceptable story, you are dead. Read and re-read every story of the Arabian Nights that you can.
  10. At the end of 7 months, 29 days, start a new project that fascinates you and captures your heart. In fact, it captures your heart so much that when the editor calls two days later, you don’t even recognize her name.

What is YOUR favorite way to wait?

If you like this tongue-in-cheek list, you might also like this one about honest critiques.

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