Here is a secret: You should never truly be waiting for anyone. You should be writing.
I hate waiting. I'm very good at it, being forced into it so many times, I've learned to deal. But I still hate it. I hate the feeling that someone else is in control of my choices - of my future yes or no. That I have to wait for an answer before I know if I can move ahead or not. Then I realized I had it all wrong. I shouldn't be waiting. I should be writing.
Publishing revolves around careful decision making. Your brilliant novel (and mine) is no exception. This takes time. Barrels of time. Which leaves you and me - waiting.
So, what's a writer to do with all this built in down time awaiting decision? The answer of course, is WRITE.
Well, says the skeptical writer to herself. Why should I write and write and later find out that my project has been rejected? Or that they are asking for substantial changes? I will have wasted all that time and effort.
Not so. Writing "blind" without expressed direction from an agent, publisher, or editor, is the best way to perfect your voice, craft, and writing vision. You won't get tangled up in another persons suggestions. You'll be blazing your own trail. This is a time to push yourself, challenge yourself to reach the next step. Improve your novel. Tighten your prose. Study novel structure. Take a class on writing. Revise your work. Take a stab at substantive edits. Rethink your ending. You're not waiting - you're working. You're readying yourself. You're improving.
And, when the call comes with all its shock and awe, all its giddy WOO HOOs! and all its provisos, you'll be ready. More ready than you were when you submitted your project.
And what if that call is a no? You're ready for that, too. Because you'll know you've become a better writer, you'll feel only slightly the sting of rejection, and it won't stop you. Not for one minute.
I bid you good writing.