Friday, March 19, 2010

The Waiting Game

Friday, March 19, 2010
Waiting . . . Anticipation . . .

Exciting sometimes. And other times . . . torturous. If you dwell on whatever it is you're waiting to hear about, you could drive yourself nuts.

Did I pass the test? Score that raise? Get the job? Win the contest?

Hard enough when you have to wait a few days to learn the outcome, but what about when it stretches to weeks, or--horrors--months? Pacing, pulling your hair out, or biting your nails are all options, of course. Nagging whoever it is you're waiting to hear from is an option, too, but then you risk ticking them off and not getting the joyous news you waited so darn long for. Maybe no news is possible good news. At least it's not bad news. Although if you obsess on the matter, in your mind you could easily spin no news to bad news.

Since I started writing professionally, I've had to learn how to deal with nail-biting anticipation. Once I enter my work in a contest, it usually takes months to get the results. Once I finish a manuscript and turn it in to my publisher, I could be waiting any where from one month to four for the revision letter--depending on my editor's work load and the production schedule. That's one to four months of waiting to learn what my editor liked or didn't like about the manuscript and what I have to change.

There's also the period of time before your book comes out.... waiting for reviews.

Oh, and here's a biggee, waiting to hear whether the partial or full manuscript you submitted was accepted . . . or rejected. Once upon a time I received a rejection from a major publisher two years after I submitted it. Can you imagine? That's excessively long and a little unusual, but it does happen. Obviously, I didn't 'wait' around for their answer. No, sir. And here's the kicker. By the time I received that rejection letter, another publisher had already bought and pubbed that story!

So here it is. How I deal with 'waiting'.

I keep moving.

I pour my time and energy into another project. I work on a new story proposal or redesign my blog or website or enter additional contests or write a short story or query new sources. Keep busy. Keep moving. That's not to say I don't obsess in patches about whatever I'm 'waiting' to hear about, but I don't allow it to consume me. I keep busy. Keep moving. And before I know it, I learn the outcome. Good news, hopefully. But if it's bad, more often than not, because I spent my waiting time being productive, other doors open.

What about you? How do you deal with 'the wait'.

SIS Beth


SIS BJ said...

Hi Beth

Waiting? I hate waiting. I ordered a goddess statue at the begining of March. It took a week for them to email me to let me know that it was on back order and I wouldn't get it until April. It is almost April, but for all I know it could be the end of April that it gets here. How do I deal with 'the wait'? I find a picture of the statue and stare at it for a few minutes. I know that sounds crazy, but it helps.

Taylor said...

This story is very coincidental Beth!! Without going into it too much, let's just say I too am waiting right now for a response - I keep dwelling on it especially today!! We'll see how it all turns out - I'll keep ya posted!!

Chris Behrens said...

Wow, good question! Luckily there have been very few instances in my life where 'the wait' was for something really serious. In those cases, three things helped: distraction, distraction and more distraction. In the short term, that's what works pretty well for me, but the longer the wait the less effective it is.

When that stops working, I usually try putting it out into the Universe that I would like a resolution. It may sound complicated or New Age-ish, but it's not really. It is simply projecting the thought outside of yourself and at the same time opening yourself to receive.

I simply can't imagine having to wait several months for something that is very important to me...I guess ignorance -is- bliss!

Tori Lennox said...

Patience is so not my strong suit. When I finally submit a mss. to somebody I'll probably be a basketcase. :)

Beth Ciotta said...

BJ, that doesn't sound crazy. Sounds a bit like creative visualization. You're looking at something and focusing on how it WILL be yours. Someday. Hopefully, soon. :)

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

Taylor, you TEASE! How could youleave me/us dangling like that? What are you waiting to hear about? All body parts crossed that you get the news you're hoping for!!!

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

Chris, I hear you on 'distraction'. Sounds similar to my methods. As to throwing it 'out to the universe,' it is sort of new age-ish, but I happen to go for those things. I'll keep that in mind for the future!

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

Tori, that being the case, keep in mind what I said... Keep busy, keep moving!! Or in Chris's words--SEEK DISTRACTION. :)

SIS Beth

Elle J Rossi said...

Wait? What's that? Just pretend it never happened and then when you hear a response...SURPRISE! You never saw that coming. Think that will work? Yeah, probably not.

SIS Barb

Beth Ciotta said...

Probably not, Elle. But why don't you give it try some time. Let us know. :)

SIS Beth

Chris Behrens said...

Beth, you're on a roll tonight, I'll have what you're having!

Tori, let us know when you submit and we'll try to keep you distracted!

Sisters-in-Sync said...


I'll admit that when it comes to waiting for something, I am awful. I can wait in line for a ride, no problem. I can wait in line at the grocery store and be very patient.

But, if someone says "I have something to tell you, but I can't tell your right now", I go crazy.

If someone says, "I got you the best present! You're gonna love it!", I need to know right then what it is.

I will say that I've gotten better over the years though. I just try to put it out of my mind.

I'd say that the things you're waiting for are well worth the wait! Good luck to you, and I know that it all be okay.

SIS Bren

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