I am useless at waiting. I get agitated and anxious. I get horrendously grouchy. I sweat.
For example, when it’s the boys’ birthday parties and the party’s due to start at 2pm, at 1.45pm I have my face squished against the window having palpitations and whispering, ‘No one’s coming.’
I’m so grateful to my husband who made sure that he was at the church for our wedding an hour early and texted me to let me know this.
So from my very first experience of ‘The Wait’, I can only describe it as hell on earth.
I finished my manuscript. I had it critiqued. I edited. I clicked ‘send’ and felt euphoric. I danced a little jig and giggled with joy at my impetuousness – I had actually clicked the button … I paused mid-jig, my giggles came to an abrupt halt, I crashed back onto my laptop from my pink fluffy cloud. OMG! I had clicked send. What had I done?
And the alarmingly hysterical tears began.
‘What’s wrong?’ my husband asked.
‘I clicked send. What am I going to do?’ I wailed in a panicked crescendo.
‘Um … wait for a reply?’ he suggested innocently.
‘Noooo … I can’t face ‘The Wait’. I can’t. It’ll kill me!’
(Thankfully my husband is used to my dramatic outbursts and usually totters off to make me a strong coffee and suggests I lie down for a little while.)
And ever since that very first moment of folly (which actually turned out to be a bloody marvellous moment in the end), for me, ‘The Wait’ never gets easier. If anything, I think it gets worse.
‘Why are you getting so worked up?’ my non-writing friends ask. ‘You’ve got a book being published this year. It’s all plain-sailing from now on isn’t it?’
So, this week, I decided to draw up a list of things I could do to while away ‘The Wait’. Now some of these I heartily recommend if you too are in the throes of ‘The Wait’. Others, I strongly advise against. I’ll leave it to you to decide which fall into either category.
Coping with ‘The Wait’:
- Become a recluse. Live in a mountain shack on a high mountain range, cut off from civilisation. Get some chickens for company.
- Smash up laptop/new MacBook to stop excessive e-mail checking.
- Fester in self-pity under the duvet (you need an understanding partner who will be willing to bring you bread and water, for this one).
- Eat lots and lots of chocolate/cake/biscuits.
- Spend a month’s wages on books and read and read and read. Leave real life behind.
- Go on long country/seaside walks – fill your lungs with crisp fresh air/get soggy from miserable wet drizzle.
- Stalk editor/agent on Twitter/in real life.
- Take up a completely new hobby, something calming and rewarding (no not reading or writing) … I don’t know, stamp collecting?
- Celebrate that you have completed a manuscript – I mean, what an achievement – with whatever celebratory shenanigans that tickle your fancy.
- Forget about the existence of your submitted manuscript – do not read it!! And start a new project … Get back on the writing wagon. Yeeha!
So if you are currently suffering ‘The Wait’, perhaps some of my ideas may be of use to you (or perhaps not). Or if you have your own ideas on surviving ‘The Wait’, I would love to hear all about them.
Happy waiting and writing,
Hwyl am y tro x