How to Deal with Waiting


Confession time: I am a highly impatient person. I just goddamn hate waiting for things. Food, new films, the end of a book… if I have to wait for it, chances are I’m annoyed.

This quality is not a good one when you’re an aspiring author.

I want all the stories I write to be finished now. I want my feedback now, I want to have written twenty books now.

Waiting is the worst.

Unfortunately, it’s also a requirement. I have to wait to have written enough words to call a first draft done. I have to wait for my agent to get back to me when I send her a fresh draft (and then when I send her a new story on top of that—sorry Steph and Izzy!). I have to wait before my book is ready to go out to publishers, I’ll have to wait once it does go out… basically, there’s a lot of waiting involved.

I was spoilt at the beginning. When I first sent Cliff Edge to Izzy, she read it that very Thursday afternoon and handed on to Stephanie right away. By Monday, Steph had read it and I’d been invited to London to meet them.

That’s unthinkable. Mad. Impossible. That doesn’t happen.

It is also the only time anything to do with my writing has moved so fast. I promptly slowed everything down again by inconveniently being on holiday when they were available to meet me, so it was a couple of weeks before I made it to the Curtis Brown offices.

Since then, I’ve been trying to learn to wait. It isn’t easy.

The top tip I’ve discovered for making waiting bearable is to throw myself into a new project. Recently, that’s been working on a couple of new novel ideas (in fact, I now have over 20,000 words of one of those ideas, tentatively entitled To Bring Down Mountains) and also setting up this blog as well as working full time.

I’m trying to read more, too. I’ve picked up some great new books from Foyles and Waterstones over the last couple of months, and I’m determined to get through half an hour of reading a day at a minimum.

My current read is A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent. It’s wonderful so far. I’ll definitely be writing up a review when I finish it.

I’ve also been working on my bullet journal more, and I’m trying to come up with some good Nanowrimo page designs to go along with my writing tracker.

Honestly, though? I still think about the things I’m waiting for at least ten times a day. I just can’t switch that part of my brain off.

Does anybody have any waiting tips of their own?


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