But we also spend A LOT of time waiting. I can’t speak for the successful, published writer, as I’ve not yet reached that height. But I can speak from the unpublished writer’s view. In fact, I would venture to say, if you’re a writer who has actually tried to be published, and you were to actually be paid for the amount of time you wait, you would probably make more money on the hourly wage while waiting, than for the actual sales of the book.
The act of waiting has become a bit of a lost art.
Think about it. What do we wait for anymore? Our TV is On Demand, our music is downloaded instantly, even our phone calls don’t wait…we send a text when we don’t get a hold of someone right at the very moment we need them. And then, we don’t even wait for them to answer, because we’ve already moved on to our next order of business until they can answer back.
But writing is different. Writers don’t always get an answer. Sometimes they don’t even get the obligatory “thanks for your interest, but we’re not accepting at this time.” A lot of times it’s just the sound of crickets on the other end of that email.
So what does a writer do while they wait? They write, of course. And they read. And they learn. And they hope. And they wait some more.
What other profession (other than parenting) involves producing a product, sometimes over years (sometimes 20 or more), and then gingerly handing it over to someone you hardly even know to have it come back to you riddled with red marks, or worse…having no feedback at all?
I think blogging revolutionized the writing industry for the writer. Sure, it provides hours of entertainment to its recipients, but before blogging, the only feedback a writer had was maybe a handful of people that they allowed to read their work, or it just gathered dust in a box in the attic.
I’m a child of the 80s, and I remember the punk rock underground mags that were photocopied, stapled and distributed at shows, and thrift shops, and then passed around to friends. I remember how dog-eared and tattered they would be by the time they got to you sometimes. Imagine if that was still how we got our material out there. Imagine how long that wait would be.
Without the blogging community, the waiting would be unbearable at times.
Waiting takes patience, and it takes practice. And sometimes the best things do happen while we wait. Have you ever had something remarkable happen while you were waiting for your next step in life?