W is for Waiting: a period of inactivity, as until something expected happens; pause, interval, or delay. (Dictionary.com)
You’ve heard the expression before. My writer friend and blogging buddy, Heather M. Gardner even named her blog after it: “The waiting is the hardest part.” And damn, if that ain’t that the gospel truth!
As writers, we spend our days…well…writing, of course, but we also spend an inordinate amount of time waiting. Waiting for the perfect idea. Waiting for the right words to come. Waiting for our critique partners to get our darlings back to us. Waiting to hear back from agents we’ve queried or from editors our agent has queried. Waiting to get our cover art, our content r line, and copy edits, our ARCs, our books on the shelves. It’s unending.
Wait, wait, WAIT! Ugh!!!
There can be, and often is, many years between the time we started writing the book and the time the public can buy it. As an architect, I found it very unfulfilling how long it took me to see a project through to construction and finished product. That’s why I turned to interior design. It’s much more satisfying to see your hard work realized in a few short months.
But writing… Well, writing is much, much worse. The mere frustration of it is completely overwhelming. And it’s all out our control. There’s nothing we, the authors, can really do to speed it up. It is what it is.
The best—the only thing really—I can say to alleviate it is: keep on working, keep on writing, keep your writing friends close and commiserate with them. They’ll understand. They’ll help you stay focused on the prize. They’ll keep you going and motivated. And lastly, don’t give up. It’s the tenacious who see a project through to the end. Waiting is hard, but really, what do you have to lose?
What stage of waiting are you in? Does it drive you nuts? What do you do to alleviate the stress of waiting?