Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Waiting

It's official. I am now the World's Foremost Authority on Waiting. (According to me, anyway.)

It's true.

I've been waiting for news for as long as I can remember. In fact, I can't recall my BW life (Before Waiting), since it was so long ago and the waiting has somewhat dulled my brain. (At least, that's my theory, anyway.)

But something has happened recently that's made me rethink (start to think?) about waiting.

And that thing is a new kind of waiting.

Recently my husband and I started looking into buying a home. We've been renting since the dawn of time, with two forays into the purchasing a home scenario (all which ended badly, so we tend to pretend they never happened), but recently we've decided to give home ownership a try (third time's the charm, right?). We filled out a loan application and received our lovely pre-approval letter on the same day we started looking at houses.

And, to make a long story, short, we are currently under contract.

Now, as the World's Foremost Authority on Waiting, you'd think that I'd be ready for the waiting that comes when you are purchasing a home, right?


Because this kind of wait, the intense "something's about to happen that will change my life forever" wait, is so different than the long, drawn out, vague "maybe someday something might happen that could change my life forever" type of wait I've been experiencing the last, oh, million years or so. This new kind of waiting is more stressful, I think, than the long, drawn out kind of waiting I've been dealing with, because it compresses so much more emotion into a short time frame. You're more nervous and excited and concerned and overjoyed and stressed out, and suddenly everything seems more...real, I suppose.

As I was pondering this idea of a new kind of waiting, I suddenly realized that these two different types of waiting can be found in this writing business, too. (See, I knew you were trying to figure out how I was going to tie all that personal info into something about writing. Just stick with me long enough and it's bound to happen, I say.) I am really only the World's Foremost Authority on Long, Abstract Waiting. I have yet to really experience the Short, Concrete Waiting that comes when a contract is eminent or an editor has mentioned acquisitions or the next step or given me any indication that my book is being considered in any way. (Yeah, they've spared me that pain and told me all about it AFTER it's been through most of those steps but hasn't made it all the way. Those are fun rejections, let me tell you.)

In this biz, you need to be prepared for both kinds of waiting. The LAW is what you will experience 99% of the time, but that last 1% is the SCW that will sneak up on you when you least expect it. And it's stressful.

Really stressful.

I don't have any really practical suggestions for dealing with it either. But I think knowing about it is the first step. Maybe. I guess.

Though I suppose it could be completely meaningless information. That's possible, I suppose. After all, my brain is a bit muddled after all the waiting it's endured.

Now, what were we talking about, again?


  1. I'm excited for you, too, although I am still waiting for your good news to happen in threes. Maybe that's three weeks, one week per blessed event?

  2. Yeah...I'm not sure why the eds didn't get that memo. I should have had that third piece of good news already! Maybe they're saving it as a Christmas present or something. *shrugs*

  3. Elissa,
    I was emailing with an editor I've used when revising in the past (that's how writers spend their birthday money). I updated her on my writing and waiting and she mentioned just even getting an editor's attention at all is so much farther than most writers ever get. That really put it in perspective. Finishing a book is more than many do. Writing another one is another milestone. Landing an agent is another step further. Getting any kind of positive rejection is another achievement. Starting the world's best blog is another one. Presenting at a conference is another step forward. Every step forward is not a step backward! You will get there and you will have a great platform in place and a great story to share in your author visits and conference presentations. I believe in you. Best wishes on home ownership!

  4. Thank you, Joanne! It's true, I am taking steps forward. I think you tend to forget that when you're knee deep in the waiting part of it all.