The Waiting Game

With Comic-Con International now a week in the past, I am hopeful that everyone is getting back to their desks, sifting through messages and e-mail and returning to work. Ideally, that will mean that some of the long-simmering proposals will actually get read and either approved or passed on, allowing me to shop them elsewhere.

I tend towards decisiveness and can get impatient waiting for feedback from others. If I’m busy enough, I can ignore the gnawing voice in the back of my mind should a single proposal be out in the ether. For the last four months, I now have many proposals out in the ether and the voices multiple in my mind without enough day-to-day writing work to effectively ignore them.

I’ve been on the other side of the desk and know full well how busy people get, how some have excellent time management skills and others could use lessons. So, really, the only ones that bother me the most are the ones who go radio silent, never responding to gentle follow-up e-mails or phone calls. If the editor expresses interest in seeing a pitch, the least they could do is acknowledge receipt and a time frame for response.

One particular pitch has sat on a desk since April and both e-mail and phone calls have gone unanswered. The person also received a promotion during this period so I dropped a quick note of congratulations, without mentioning the pitch. Still nothing. Tomorrow, I will try someone else because clearly, this editor has no interest in the project or me.

Another frustration can be editors who ask to see something then can’t find it and ask to see it again. And again. On June 1, I sent a pitch over to an editor who sounded very enthusiastic. He acknowledged receipt and said he would discuss it with his superior that week. On June 30, when I asked if there was any news, he told me he had to wait for his superior to get back from vacation. On July 30, I asked if that person came back from vacation yet. Apparently he had, but the editor then went on vacation so now everyone is back in the office. Then he asked me to forward the materials again to be certain he had the right version.

This is all typical and not at all personal, but with multiple projects floating out there, the delays and lapses in communication grow exponentially, driving me to distraction.

Much of the above explains the reason my posting has dropped in frequency. There hasn’t been as much to talk about as usual. With luck, now that the major cons are over, this will change.

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