Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Waiting Game

This past week flew by in a blur of preparations for a big work event coming up this week, query submissions, and wrapping up the end of the semester, which means a lot of last minute grading and tying up loose ends. I didn’t get much actual writing done, but I sort of planned to have a slower schedule until the semester is over. But since I like to have a few eggs in the basket, I used my time to query and hopefully line up some work for the next month or so.

I’m so impatient. I’m pretty persistent with follow-ups, as some of these editors can tell you :) One editor whom I’ve worked with a few times over the past few months is normally very quick to respond. Not this week. My follow-ups didn’t get me anywhere, either. Finally on Tuesday he responded and apologized—he’d taken a few days off to get married and leave for a quick honeymoon. Okay. I suppose that’s a valid reason for letting the emails slide :) I heard from my corporate client at the end of the week, as well--I have more work lined up. Bring it on!

How long do you typically wait to hear back from an editor before following up? If it’s an editor I’ve worked with before, I usually only wait a few days; a week, max. For new-to-me editors, I typically wait about 2 weeks. Surprisingly, all but 2 editors I’ve queried this week have gotten back to me within a few days. One asked for a different angle on the idea I’d submitted; I tried for a different approach and I’m hoping for the best. I may have to send a few other ideas just in case, though. If these other editors respond favorably, May could be a very busy month!

What’s your average wait time until you follow up? How’s May looking for you?


  1. Great topic. I just followed up on three queries last night. I usually wait two weeks or so to follow up. I have had some luck following up in the past, so that keeps me motivated to keep at it. Some publications take forever to assign articles even if they are interested in them. Patience isn't usually my strong point, but since I work a full-time job on top of freelancing, I stay busy with other stuff.

  2. Sarah, Welcome and thanks for posting! I work FT in addition to the freelancing, too, though writing comes first for me. It's always a thrill to get a positive response from an editor, though!