You hurry to get your ideas on paper, then wait as you tediously filter through the rough draft separating the wheat from the chafe, removing cliches and over used words, spell check, grammar check. Then you send it to your beta, and wait while they read it. Holding your breath all the while. With luck, they love it, if not it's back to revisions. Then it's time to submit it to your critique group, where you wait again. They have their own dead lines and works in progress. You check each day to see if anyone has found the time to critique your chapter, just one of many comprising the book, only to find...nothing. So, you wait some more. Finally after months of waiting and editing you think your manuscript is ready to send off, be it to agents or editors. You carefully get your submission package ready as per their requirements, send it off and ...you guessed it... wait some more!
The wait may be as little as a couple of weeks to months, all the while wondering will they want you, are you good enough, never knowing anything until you get an e-mail or an SASE. I have a submission out right now that has been on the editor's desk for 4 1/2 months. I've heard nothing. <Sigh>
They want you? (Not me, not yet.) So then it's edit again, you make the changes they request, send it back, and wait. Wait. Wait. You get them back with more edits. Hurry...then wait. The same with your proofs, your cover, your release date. Is it worth it? How would I know? I'm still waiting!
For me, this is the hardest part of being a writer. They say the easiest way to learn patience is to be forced to wait. If that is so, I should have the patience of Jobe.