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'.