When Your Work is in Other People’s Hands


I pitched my novel on Wednesday night. It went well. I got some feedback about some possible improvements to my pitch, but I was one of three people who came across as knowing what they were talking about.

And now we are waiting, waiting to hear which two are being considered for submission to an editor who rarely looks at unagented work.

I hate waiting, so I am doing other things: spring planting, house cleaning, LEGO organizing, and having friends over for dinner.

I am not expecting to be selected to move all the way through the process: one of the novels has a hook that is too juicy to pass up. The marketing potential is huge, and the writing is good – it needs polishing, but it is well on its way. Although that novel will not be the only one to be considered for passing on to the editor, I am sure it will be in the mix, and I think the package is good enough that the marketing hook will get it selected.

But, I do not know. And so, I wait.

Waiting for rejection is part of the writer’s life. We must find ways to handle it, to not pause our life and writing while our babies are out in the world to be judged.

I am drawing on my experience as an actor after auditions, reminding myself that I have done my best and letting go of whatever outcomes may be.

My attitude to auditioning changed completely when I directed Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night<
in college. For that show, the lead female and a secondary male must be mistaken for each other. Two women auditioned who could have played the lead. No man auditioned who could be mistaken for one of the women, so I cast the other. And the woman who could have played the lead wasn’t right for any of the other female roles, so I couldn’t cast her. I used weaker actresses who fit the characters better to make the play as a whole work. For this actress, it was the lead or nothing and my choice depended on who else auditioned.

After that, I knew I would’ve never understand all the thoughts any director goes through when casting. All I can do is show up, do my best, and see what happens.

Yes, the waiting sucks.

But, there is no point in wallowing in it.

I have editing, writing, and living to get on with.


About Kate Arms-Roberts


Posted on May 11, 2012, in This Writing Life, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Well, I still have fingers crossed for you and I’m glad the pitch went well. Hope you hear soon.

  2. You have a fantastic attitude about waiting. My attitude towards waiting includes far too much chocolate. 🙂 Good luck with the pitch! I’m sending positive vibes your way!

  3. As a writer with a fear of verbal pitching, I think it’s awesome that you went through with this process.

    I enjoyed your story about what you learned from casting Twelfth Night. I can relate to that as an editor.

    Best of luck with your submission! It sounds like an exciting opportunity. But good experience even if you don’t advance to the next round.

  1. Pingback: On Silence: Or Why I Sometimes Stop Blogging Out of the Blue « Kate Arms-Roberts

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