Waiting, I've decided, is as much a part of writing as writing is a part of writing. You wait for your subconscious to work out tricky plot points. You wait for beta readers to read through your manuscript. You wait to hear back on your queries, and if you're lucky enough to get a request, you wait to hear back on those. If you're lucky enough to land an agent, you wait to hear back from editors, and on and on and on. You wait and wait and wait, and some days are good, and others aren't so good, and after a while, even on the good days, you start to wonder if maybe, just maybe, you're starting to go a little crazy...
Or maybe that's just me:)
But in all seriousness, I've been thinking about this waiting for a few weeks now and had a few thoughts I wanted to share. Many of you know that I finished Bob's revision about six weeks ago, and since then, I've been--you guessed it--waiting. And the truth is, I didn't think I'd have to wait this long. You always hear these stories about writers who submit their revisions and have an offer within, like, twelve hours. Why don't we ever hear the stories about writers who wait...and wait...and wait before receiving any kind of response?
I suspect it's because those stories aren't as newsworthy. "Writer waits six months to receive an offer of representation" isn't nearly as exciting as "Writer wakes up to agents mud-wrestling in her front yard over her manuscript," and "Writer receives many compliments from agents, shelves project after eight months" never makes the front page (let alone the tenth). And yet having to wait isn't something to be ashamed of. In fact, I daresay waiting is the period of time in which we grow the most.
We often talk about how to cope with waiting (namely, get to work on your next project, spend time with your family, and GET TO WORK ON YOUR NEXT PROJECT), but we don't talk as much about how waiting refines us, how it shows us what we're made of. There's a big difference between waiting and waiting well, and the only way we ever learn how to do the latter is if things don't go the way we want them to (or at least not right away).
I still don't know exactly how to let our waiting change us, how to let it push us to become better people, but I do know we'll never become the people we can be without those opportunities. So I'm trying to look at it that way. I'm trying to see this waiting as a Krista-refining period of time. That way, if I ever achieve this crazy dream of landing an agent (and, fingers crossed, a book deal), I will have achieved even more.