I've always thought that the worst part of the writing process is the waiting. Sure, rejection is awful. And writer's block stinks. And my least favorite task is probably formatting queries. But the worst? Waiting.
I'm learning that the bad news is, waiting isn't a part of the process that goes away. When I was unagented, I associated waiting with the waiting for replies to queries--waiting to fill in my spreadsheet of emails sent with dates of replies and, inevitably, mainly rejections. I thought of sending requested partials and--joy of joys!--fulls as the zenith of waiting. Longer waits, but with higher stakes.
There's still the same waits you had before--the waits for crit partners or beta readers to get back to you. Now there's the wait for your agent to let you know what she thinks, too--and even when you have the world's most encouraging, patient agent, there's a nagging voice in my head, prodding me, "What if it's not good enough? What if she hates it? What if she dumps me by the side of the road to publishing?"
(See...confidence doesn't magically geyser out of the gutter just because you're agented.)
And then there's the flip side, with each draft sent. What if it *is* good enough now? What if this is it--and a new kind of waiting is about to start?
So, waiting never leaves a writer alone. Maybe it's because I need to cultivate patience, or maybe it's just human nature to obsess over things like this, but I'm starting to feel that I don't have much to fear in the writing game save waiting itself.
What about you? Is waiting your worst part--or does something else trump it? What's the worst wait you've ever suffered through?