The title of this post sounds like the title of a horror film. Maybe that’s because it’s about one of the most frightening parts of this writer’s life.
I am not a patient human. I am the person tutting behind you in the supermarket when you pay for your shopping in copper coins. I am the man tapping his foot loudly in the doctor’s waiting room as soon as the appointments begin running two minutes behind schedule. I will refuse to pay the service charge if I wait more than ten minutes for my coffee.
Imagine what happens to a human like this when asked to wait three days for something. Or three weeks. The words ‘response within three months’ send a shiver down my spine.
Perhaps then, writing will be a difficult profession for me. Everything I’ve read about the process of getting an agent, getting a deal, getting a book in your hand, tells me that it is long. There will be a lot of waiting, I knew that.
In June of this year I was delighted to receive a full manuscript request from the very first agent I submitted my sample chapters to. Excited, I responded with the book attached and after about a week I started checking my emails every couple of hours. Have they responded? Did they love it? Did they race straight through it and email me with a publisher in mind? No. They didn’t.
The estimated three-month reading time came and went and the email checks escalated to every fifteen minutes. Obsession.
Since then, a further three months have passed. The virtue of patience is one that I am learning the hard way. I find myself reading blogs and articles from other aspiring writers to borrow coping strategies for the waiting that haunts us all.
I read one recently that said multiply the estimated times by two, then add a month. I’ll take that. Three by two is six plus one is seven. Not long to wait. One more month… Then I’ll pester.
Meanwhile, the foot keeps tapping and the fingers keep drumming. One day I’ll be a patient waiter but in the meantime I just accept it as part of my life and I keep waiting. I hope it’s worth it.