My husband works for one of the world’s largest companies. He does not understand the publishing industry whatsoever. When we talk about the wait time between stages in the writing/editing/publishing process he generally says something like, “This business model makes no sense.” I’ve tried to explain it to him — trends, publishing “seasons,” the artistic process — and he rolls his eyes. He’s convinced there is a better, more scientific way to produce books.
Until they (someone, you, the publishing industry as a whole) figures it out this magically faster process, writers pursuing publication have to become excellent waiters…and I don’t mean the kind that bring your dinner. This process is long. Sometimes it’s painful. But waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing. If you’re in query hell, or submission hell, or hoping your beta readers will get back to you eventually, the best advice I can give you is to stop sitting around, checking your email (or watching out your front door, in my case). Do something. Read in or out of your genre. Work on that sparkly new idea. Attend a conference. Read a plotting book.
Writing is waiting, but it’s also an action verb. Continue writing while you wait. Then, no matter what happens with this project, your next one will already be underway.
I swear I’m not looking out my front window for my copyedits to be delivered, but I’ll check again as soon as this posts. I’m writing while I wait, but that doesn’t make me patient.