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!