Surprise Post! The Waiting Game Rules


It’s the 1st of September!

Ha! Just kidding…

SURPRISE!!! I decided to pen another post today. In case you were thinking I somehow miraculously acquired the ability to alter time, it’s actually August 5th. Lol

Okay, so for those of you scratching your heads trying to figure out why I’m on my writing tip again…and a new month has not begun, well I’ll tell ya. This was all an elaborate scheme to get you guys to come back to my blog so you can actually hit the “follow WriteAway31” button to your right. Yesterday, a dear sweet friend of mine made me aware of the devastating fact that there was no button of said nature or purpose on my page. Imagine my shock when I learned this news. All along I’ve been thinking nobody wanted to follow me. But the truth is so much more of a relief (as annoying as it may be) because no possible means to do so existed on my page. Welp, it is now readily available for those of you who have a hankering for some good reading. ūüėČ

For your troubles my dear friends and as an apology for luring you back to my page before the established time I’ve got some good news for ya! I whipped up a short post just for you. Let’s call it a consolation prize.


the rules.jpg

Every established place of order has them. We all follow them, whether expressed or implied. Even my five-year-old daughter has a set of rules she lives by. Just this evening at dinner she boldly informed me of the rules she and our seven-year-old have recently established for their bunk bed. Here is her condensed version:

  1. Don’t kick someone in the face while they’re trying to sleep.
  2. Don’t be mean to another child if they’re trying to go to sleep.
  3. Don’t be mean (I guess this is a major “no-no” in the world of sleeping).
  4. Don’t say, “Hey I didn’t do that!” (I’m assuming this is in reference to #3).
  5. (And my all-time favorite!) Don’t punch someone in the eye because that would really hurt.

So as you can see even kids have a sense of rules, should’s and should not’s. But in the world of writing aspirations, there are many rules I’m only on the precipice¬†of delving into. One category of rules pertains to the area of waiting. Over these last few months, I have been playing the waiting game like nobody’s business. At the top of the year I set a personal goal for myself that entailed submitting my picture book manuscript to one new publisher each month. Proudly, I can say that to date, I have been keeping in step with this goal. The traditional publishing route (the opposite of self-publishing) can be a tricky process. Its almost become comical to me when I explore a potential publisher’s submission guidelines section on their website. Usually, I read something to the effect of, “These are our submission rules. Follow our submission rules or we won’t be giving your manuscript a second thought. And oh, by the way, you may or may not hear from us. But, if you don’t hear from us after three months, that means we don’t want your book.” Well at least that’s what I hear in my head! Lol

Naturally, this has lead to my unsolicited recruitment as a player in a drawn-out¬†round of the all too familiar “Waiting Game”. Everybody knows that no official rules have ever been drawn up for this widely unpopular, yet highly participated in game. But, if these rules existed somewhere, especially in the context of waiting for a publisher, a publishing contract, feedback from a publisher, or any other favorable publisher related correspondence, these would be the rules to play by.

Rule #1: Be hopefully realistic while you wait.

Rule #2:  Believe the publisher when they specify a wait time.

Rule #3: When the specified wait time runs out with no word from a publisher, keep on submitting.

Rule #4: Make the most of your “turn” during the “Waiting Game” by bettering your craft (ie. listen to related podcasts, blog posts, read books from the people who are where you want to be).

Rule #5: Seek feedback and critiques from others on your work. If you can scrape up the money, splurge for a professional critique.

Rule #6: Explore¬†ways to¬†re-write your story or portions of it by using a different voice or from another character’s perspective. Of course you don’t have to keep the results of this exercise as your final work but it can be beneficial in stretching your writing ability.

Rule #7: Attend writer’s conferences.

Rule #8: Seek out and submit your work to relevant writing contests.

Rule #9: Consider submitting your story to be published as a magazine article.

Rule #10: Turn your offense in to offense. When offended by a critique, step back, take a deep breath, and decide if the criticism is valid. If so, channel it into some good writing or if its invalid, let it go.

Rule #11: Join a writer’s group, critique circle, or writer’s forum.

By all means this is in no way an exhaustive list. You see, this “Waiting Game” is not for the faint of heart. In playing to win, the rules are endless. I’m still trying my hand at using these rules on my own turn in this game. I hope you had fun reading my unofficially official rules.

Oh yeah, don’t forget the whole reason why you are still reading (if you are in fact still reading this). Go ahead and hit the “follow WriteAway31” button to your right. Because who are we kidding here…I spent the last hour penning this post just so I could get you to do that! #bossmove ūüėČ Lol

But seriously guys, thanks for lending me your eyes. Now back to your regularly scheduled evening of scrolling, hanging out, or any other characteristic Friday night activities.

I’ll see you in September!



Published by Courtney B. Dunlap

Christ follower. Wife. Mother. Friend. Writer...and excited to grow! I believe there's a need for more down-to-earth online spaces in which moms like you and me and anyone else in-between can explore the in's and out's of homeschooling free from competition yet rich with encouragement. My hope is that all that you find here will provide just that!

2 thoughts on “Surprise Post! The Waiting Game Rules

    1. Thanks dad! If you log in from your computer, you should be able to see it. I wasn’t able to see it from my phone. But on the laptop it says “follow WriteAway31” in blue writing and then a little further down, it says “Follow Blog via Email” with a grayish white “Follow” button underneath it. Thanks dad! Love ya!


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