• www.inkwellwriters.ie

30 ways writers wait.

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Writers Wise

Sharon Thompson


Writers, we wait ALL the time and some of us may wait quietly.

I don’t do waiting well, hence the blog post. 🙂

With writing, one of the worst parts is the waiting for stuff to happen. Anyone else agree? To be a writer, we need to wait. It is the kind of waiting that involves, heavy chocolate eating, cursing and candle lighting.

While waiting I thought I’d place a few times points together. Here are just 30 of them!

As writers, we wait for;

  1. The idea to come and the words to form. Getting the initial motivation and time to write is the first step. Sometimes this doesn’t take long but others times it can seem like you’ll never get a spark of an idea ever again. 
  2. The characters to come and play. Waiting to hear voices is something a writer understands but possibly might not admit to. Characters can take us off on tangents, drag us into dark places and totally mess up our plot plans. We wait for them to build our worlds and let us be their voice.
  3. Chapters to lead from one to another. The structure of the book sometimes forms, other times the chapters are like an endangered species that won’t give birth.
  4. The plot to work. Arghhhhhh.
  5. Draft one to feel less raw. Tweaking and rewriting while pretending that it is still a rough first draft in case people think it’s dog-rough.
  6. Initial beta-readers to give feedback. Remembering to breath can be difficult at this point. I usually forget who I sent the manuscript to. This is so that if I see an email or message I don’t die inside before opening it.
  7. Editing and re-drafting over and over. While waiting for feedback I pick at and poke words in and out. Place commas in and take them out, check research and continuity, start fretting that it is the worst drivel ever and die waiting. What is taking soooooooo long?
  8. Readers to give feedback. This waiting is never-ending. Why aren’t they reading faster?
  9. Changes to be made. Procrastination time for me. There’s definitely plenty of time to make those suggested changes. I’ll let it stew and go back with fresh eyes. I wait on the motivation to tackle it all again.
  10. Proof-reading to be done Sometimes I ask a pal to do a proof-read for free. What is taking her so long? She has a life, full-time job, five children, husband and pets, but how very dare she take so long in doing me a favour!
  11. Agent to like it. Will she think it is decent? Can I email twice in a day and ask if she’s had a peek? In my head there’s only me and my manuscript in her world. I wait no time at all, but the breath holding has given me a headache.
  12. Publishers to want it. Arghhhhh We wait on contracts to magically happen and then wait millennia to able to tell people the good news. Oh! the pain.
  13. Website/social media to grow. Writers wait and work on their online presence. Why is no-one noticing my witty remarks about my life?
  14. The edits. Sweet gawd waiting on the edits is like torture. Getting the edits back and waiting with a poured gin on the comments to appear should be considered a feat of the utmost bravery.
  15. To do the edits. Waiting on the ability to make the necessary edits. Motivation, inspiration and confidence to do this can be difficult to find.
  16. Proof-reading again and again. Making time for this takes time.
  17. Publisher to re-read and agree it is ready. Migraines form and repetitive strain injury happens from checking emails.
  18. The Blurb. To and fro about the blurb. Waiting, waiting and not waiting long at all… but it is still waiting. 
  19. Cover designs. Why is it taking so long to make a fantastic design for the book? My inbox is a head spin from being refreshed so often.
  20. The final proofs. I choose not to remember that my publisher is extremely busy with many other titles. I wait impatiently.
  21. Boxes of books to come Where the feck is this delivery man? He cannot be lost AGAIN. I’ll wait. No, it’s fine. Fine. I’m fine.
  22. The launch date Can’t this thing called time go quicker? Then, oh lord, can it all slow down? I’m not ready for this!
  23. To see the book on a shelf It has been worth the waiting. Now the waiting starts in earnest…
  24. Blog tour reviews. My blood pressure must be sky high. I simply can’t wait or think about reviews. This is not happening. (It is nice when they come in).
  25. The first signed copy WOW worth waiting on this.
  26. The first sale ‘It’s all happening so fast. Thanks. Yes, it is great. All worth waiting for.’
  27. More reviews! Make it stop, Make it stop. I can’t look.
  28. The rankings/Sales figures. Why won’t the amazon link refresh quicker than this? Checking every minute moves to every hour, then every morning. Wait! It has moved down? I’ll wait for it move up.
  29. Royalties ‘Oh I see, they’ll come in six months. I’ll wait.’ Sigh.
  30. To call yourself a published author… It has finally happened. You are published! Yippeee. It is worth all the waiting. BUT, at the end of all of this waiting… yes, you’ve guessed it, you must WAIT to see if you can do it all again. 

No-one was harmed at any stage in this waiting process. Even I came out unscathed and I am lucky to have such wonderful opportunities to wait on. But, where or where is the possible design for my book cover?

My second novel, with the wonderful Bloodhound Books UK, is called ‘The Healer’. It will be out on 22nd January. I cannot wait!

The Abandoned by Sharon Thompson available now from this link.


  • A writers' retreat space, in an old world cottage, overlooking Lough Derg in North Tipperary -
  • www.designforwriters.com

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get all of the latest from writing.ie delivered directly to your inbox.

Featured books

  • I Am Pat: Memoir of a Donegal Childhood by Patrick Doherty
  • amzn.to
  • amzn.to
  • amzn.to