Writing and publishing is a waiting game. It sucks, but there it is. You work and slave over a novel or short story, you send it off to an editor or agent, and then . . .
Even when you think you don’t have to wait anymore, you wait. You wait for the agent to respond to your query (weeks or even months). Then you wait for the agent to send you an agency contract (days). Then you wait for the agent to start sending your work out to editors (hopefully only days, but sometimes weeks). Then you wait for the editors to respond (weeks or months again). Then, if an editor says she wants to buy your book, you wait for the go-ahead from the publisher (weeks). Once you get that, you wait for the contract (often more than a month). Then you wait for the first part of the advance (months, unfortunately). Then you wait for the editorial letter, the one that suggests what you should change (months or, in some awful cases, years).
After all that, you get to DO something–rewrite the book. If you’re like me, the rewrites don’t take more than a few weeks. Hell, I recently did a set of rewrites in under ten days.
And then you wait again. You wait for the copyedits (months), and the page proofs (months), the cover flats (months), and the actual book (months).
So what do you do during all that waiting?
Write another book.
–Steven Harper Piziks