So tired, tired of waiting…

Being a writer requires so many things, but perhaps the most difficult for someone of creative mind, which all writers must surely be, is patience. If this is truly a thing of virtue, then I am a scarlet woman!

Every time my phone pings with a new email message, I eagerly check it – perhaps it’s news! But no, it’s just another Groupon message, asking if I’d like to combine an evening of discounted dog racing with a cut price shiatsu massage. Tempting, but no. I don’t want your emails, I want some exciting news.

The waiting brings to mind a poem entitled Impatience by Ella Wheeler (Chicago, Belford, Clarke and Co, 1883), the first verse of which you can see below:

How can I wait until you come to me?
The once fleet mornings linger by the way;
Their sunny smiles touched with malicious glee
At my unrest, they seem to pause, and play
Like truant children, while I sigh and say,
How can I wait?

So what is this exciting news I seek? Well, as you might expect from this blog, it’s all tied up with writing and goes along the lines of…

Wanting to hear about my submissions, wanting to hear about friends’ submissions, wanting to hear whether any more of the Write Romantics have typed “The End” on their WIPs, wanting to hear if my good friend, Julie, has miraculously had her NWS feedback after only three days, wanting to hear if we can find out more about ‘The Call’/title of Helen P’s book and wanting to hear if my numbers have come up on the lottery. Alright, so the last one is not strictly speaking tied up with writing but, if I do win the lottery, it would certainly make concentrating on writing a lot easier and the waiting would take place in far more palatial surroundings!

So, to cheer myself up and to stop me checking the in-box for at least twenty minutes or so in the hope of getting that elusive news, I thought I would look for some examples of people who’ve had an even longer wait than me. Here’s what I found:

• It took a thirty year courtship for Rose Pollard, by then aged 90, to finally fulfill her promise to marry boyfriend (and I use the term ‘boy’ loosely), Forrest Lunsway, on his 100th birthday. As well as finally giving them the title of Mr and Mrs, the nuptials also made them the oldest newlyweds ever.

• The world’s longest traffic jam, a 60-mile tailback stretching from the capital Beijing to the northern province of Inner Mongolia, occurred in 2011. Traffic only moved at a rate of about 0.6 miles a day and some drivers were allegedly caught in the traffic for five days, with the traffic jam itself lasting over ten days.

• If you get fed up with waiting for a letter about your latest submission, spare a thought for the sweetheart of Serviceman Charles Fleming. On March 20th 1945, Charles posted a letter to the girl referred to only as ‘dearest’. The World War II love letter took a bit longer than normal to reach its destination, via Royal Mail to an RAF base, sixty four years to be precise, after finally arriving in 2009.

So enjoy the waiting while it lasts, perhaps re-frame it as anticipation as it sounds more exciting that way. If all else fails, it’s worth remembering that it could be worse – at least you aren’t stuck in a ten day traffic jam!

Jo x


14 thoughts on “So tired, tired of waiting…

  1. Great post, Jo. There is a perverse kind of pleasure in the waiting, isn’t there. I have still not heard from the much-prized agent on whose desk – or probably floor – my wondrous offering lurks while it waits for its moment in the sun. But she hasn’t said ‘no’ and all the time she hasn’t my little dream remains intact.
    Mind you, I have decided to maximise my chances of that ‘yes’ email popping into my box and have submitted to another 3 agents so now my pleasure at the waiting has been tripled. Marvellous… or not…

    • Hi Deirdre

      Yours is one of those very “friends’ submissions” that I am dying to hear about! As such, I am delighted to learn that you now have four possible sources of exciting news and I shall be watching my in box even more avidly for your news.

      You are right, though, that there is a perverse pleasure in waiting. I think it is the hope that is attached to the waiting that brings those little slithers of pleasure, which just about counter the frustration enough to keep a person sane. I allow myself a little daydream for about ten minutes a day where some of that news finally does ping into my in-box and I think what I would do and how I would feel.

      In the meantime the waiting goes on and, even when you get a “yes”, particularly from an agent, still the waiting will continue. Sitting by the email as you wait to hear the outcome of acquisition meetings, waiting for the sales figures, that string of five star reviews. I have feeling all those things will come to you though, Deirdre, so hang on in there and please don’t forget to let me know when they do!

      Jo x

  2. Love it Jo! They say patience is a virtue. Does that mean us lot are all pretty unvirtuous (is that even a word)?!

    I’ve always been a patient person with other people i.e. I can listen to a friend’s problem and sympathise for months or I can spend hours training someone who just isn’t getting it without losing my rag but, when it comes to something about me …. completely different story. I’m the person who assumes I haven’t got the job if I don’t hear the morning after my interview. I’m the person who, the minute I knew my hubby loved me and wanted to be with me for life was expecting a proposal every single time I saw him and broke down in tears in a restaurant on a romantic weekend away when he said it was too soon into our relationship for a proposal but it would happen one day! I’m the person who, right now, is staring at the “it’s arrived” receipt for my MS from NWS that arrived in the post today and who has immediately taken the calendar off the wall to calculate when may be the earliest date my MS comes back.

    I therefore think we’ve chosen to pursue one of the worst careers in the world for people without patience.

    But I love your examples of those who do have that virtue. Maybe we should learn from them.

    So, by my calculations, it’s possible my MS may come back by the end of next week.

    Hmm, maybe that’s a lesson that’s going to have to be hammered in for a long time!


  3. Hi Julie

    OMG, next weekend?! Now I am going to be even worse and every time I get an email from you I will be thinking… this is it! I have even more of an attachment to your news than to everyone else’s and so, after you and your hubby, I am probably the next most anxious person in the world to hear what they think of it. Come on NWS reader, I NEED to know!

    I love your story about waiting, or rather not waiting, for your hubby to propose. Poor man never really stood a chance, did he! Hope he now realises how lucky he is 🙂 I am about to reply to your email from yesterday and I will fill you in about the first of those books that I bought last weekend. It’s cheered me up no end and I have been laughing out loud since I started it. Not because it is a good romcom, but because it is so dire that it’s hilarious. Seriously, this woman has had seven other books published by a major name and I would love to know if they are all as pants as this, although I am not sure I could bear to read them all. Anyway, it’s certainly given me renewed hope, because if she can do it, we certainly can!

    Jo x

  4. Excellent post as always Jo, I will ask the lovely Anna my editor if I can share the title of the book on this page and write a post about it. I know how it feels the writing business is very slow, I can’t wait to hear about your submission and everyone else’s. Desperate to know who the romcom writer is as well who is tickling everyone’s fancy.

    I have been so busy at work I will get some posts on this weekend although tomorrow isn’t looking promising there are a couple of thousand very brave and crazy people doing the Keswick to Barrow 40 mile walk for charity and i’m on traffic duty for six and a half hours and today I’ve been stuck in hospital with my son all afternoon so that wiped out some valuable writing time.

    Keep smiling everyone 🙂

    Helen xx

  5. Hi Helen

    Sounds like you have been madly busy and that looks set to continue, what with the edits and all! It must seem like we (well me, if truth be told) are all nagging you for news, but is is ‘such fun’ (as Miranda’s mum might say) to live vicariously through your achievements.

    Not sure if I should confess this on a blog, but I sometimes think I am turning into Miranda. All this waiting, as well as working from home alone all day, has the potential for me to become someone who makes ‘fruit friends’ to chat to when my real friends get bored of listening to me complaining about waiting. Don’t worry, I haven’t gone that far yet, although I do sometimes talk to myself in a different accent. I can pass it off as finding a voice for one of my characters and wondering if their dialogue sounds right out loud, yesterday if was a French accent, but perhaps I should just have a lie down in a darkened room!

    Really hope Anna is able to give you the go ahead soon, so excited for you and so lovely to see how proud your daughter is of you on Facebook 🙂

    Jo xx

    • Hi Vikki

      I am just not good at waiting and the wheels move so much more slowly than I ever realised! Have you submitted your book to the NWS now? What title did you settle on in the end? Really glad to hear you are writing again and enjoying it! I look forward to catching up soon and have a fab birthday 🙂

      Jo xx

    • Hi Henri (hope it’s okay to call you that?)

      Thanks so much for the kind words about our blog and the nomination, I will head on over to your blog now. I don’t suppose you would be willing to do one of our Monday interviews at some point, would you? We love hearing about NWS alumni who are now in the place that we are aspiring to be and it would be really great to hear about your journey to ‘The Call’. I have a feeling one of the other Write Romantics (Jaxx, I think) may have already asked you but, just in case, I thought I would mention how delighted we would be to include you in the interviews, if you have time. Congratulations on signing with Choc Lit, as they seem like a wonderful publisher to get ‘The Call’ from.

      Jo x

  6. Hi Jo
    This post really made me smile. I was definitely at the back of the queue when patience was being handed out and it’s good to know I wasn’t alone in that! I think life is trying to teach me patience because everything that happens at the moment seems to require me to accept that it’s going to take some time. But the next time I’m being impatient about something I’m going to remember the 10 day traffic jam!

    • Hi Alex

      I am glad it made you smile 🙂 Patience is definitely not something that comes naturally to me and, in this game, things seem to move agonishingly slowly. Still, my heart leapt when I saw Helen R’s NWS feedback post, some exciting news at last! Hopefully it will open up the floodgates and we will be awash with exciting blog posts soon. Hope the editing is going well and really look forward to your news about sending the TS off and the NWS feedback it generates.

      Jo x

      PS. Hope there aren’t any traffic jams on your route down to Kent 😉

      • Hi Jo
        Editing is turning out to be a slower process than I’d anticipated. I’m hoping to get the TS off for its review by the end of June. Although that’s already starting to look a bit optimistic so maybe it’ll turn out to be the beginning of July.
        Yes fingers crossed about the traffic jams. Looking forward to seeing you on Monday!

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