Apr 30, 2012


By Tracy Astle

Seems to me that in our writing lives there's a lot of waiting to be done: waiting for our muse to visit, for our rough draft to be done, for our final draft to be done, for a crituque to come back to us, for an agent, editor or publisher to respond, for life to slow down at least a bit so we can more easily make time for writing. You name it.

(BTW - If you figure out that last one, PLEASE let me know your secret. ASAP. Then write a book sharing said secret and you will be wealthy, wealthy, wealthy!)

We must find something to fill our waiting hours, so as to avoid wasting the minutes of our limited engagement here on earth. Besides, we all know just sitting around waiting can drive a person crazy.

I'm sure you're thinking, "Keep writing. That's what we have to do while we wait. Just keep writing." True. BUT - if you're like me you can do more than one thing at a time, such as engaging your fingers and most of your brain in writing while simultaneously having another part of your brain busy itself with obsessing over whatever it is you're waiting for. We're tricky like that, aren't we?

While it is quite important to have something to busy ourselves with to divert our attention from what we are wont to fixate on, I have found it's even more important to learn to surrender to, and even appreciate all the parts of the process - including the waiting parts. Now, I could go all deep and philisophical on you and delve into the "Zen of Waiting," but we don't have that much time or space here. Let me just say, there is joy to be found in waiting. We may have to look a little harder for it, but it's there.

There's a reason for the saying, "Good things come to those who wait." I like to add, "...to those who actively wait." When we wait actively we not only find other things to keep ourselves occupied, we also look  for the good in the waiting and open ourselves up to the blessings to be found there. 

So, tell us - what have you learned from waiting?


  1. I've learned not to waste the time waiting. I jump into another project, that way I don't think about the manuscripts in the hands of people I don't have control over. I can't have them read them faster, or make them like the first paragraph, or even get them to read the whole first page. Patience is the greatest virtue I've developed since becoming a writer.

  2. Interesting post! I totally agree that it is "actively" wait. I have to ditto what Debra said, too.


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