Tom Petty knew what he was talking about

 

All right, I have to admit, I really just did that because I haven’t put a video in a blog post yet, and I wanted to make sure I knew how to do it. Baby steps to social-media competency here. (Patting self on back.)

It is not just a great song (and holy guacamole, does Tom Petty look young! I forgot he ever looked that young!) – it’s also the theme song for my month.

I have been in jobs requiring patience before. As a PT working with clients who had suffered from traumatic brain injuries, I often waited weeks (sometimes years!) to see tangible results. But I was in a facility full of other professionals who were experiencing the same frustrations and stressors.  We learned together, discussed strategies, backed each other up, and made each other laugh – a lot! I also had my clients and their amazing, hopeful, hard-working family members to inspire me.

When I started writing “full time” in January, I was so charged up about changing careers and giving my dreams a chance. I read book after book and blog after blog. I tweeted and commented and wrote and edited.  I figured out better ways to balance parenting and writing and me time.

I’m still doing all that. But now I’ve hit that stage where the toughest chore on my daily to-do list is WAITING.

I’m waiting to hear back from critique partners on my work.

I’m waiting to hear back from agents about my submissions.

I’m waiting VERY EAGERLY for the  NJ SCBWI conference June 28th and 29th – my first writer’s conference!

I’m waiting for my stats to improve on WordPress and my followers to go up on twitter.

I’m waiting for inspiration to hit.

To find that elusive word I know I need to pull a weak sentence together.

Yeah. I’m waiting.

It’s a busy waiting – but it’s been hard to not dwell on it. Despite beautiful, funny, active, imaginative kids. Despite gorgeous weather. Despite recitals and socials and end-of-year-ceremonies and volunteer duties.

I still find my mind mired in a morass of muddy emotions.

Impatience.

Self-doubt.

Frustration.

Boredom.

I’ve been spending way too much time checking my email, Facebook, twitter and blog stats. Time much better spent connecting with my husband and kids – or better still, sleeping! I think I do it because it’s one small way I can tell myself I’m gaining traction.

But I’m ready to exchange this obsessive waiting for acceptant waiting. Knowing it’s part of the business, and letting myself enjoy the moment I’m in instead of the one I’m looking forward to. Putting down the phone, shutting off the screen, worrying less about my email inbox.

I feel it’s very healthy for me to recognize this, and to want to work on it. Now, I just have to figure out how to DO it.

So writers – and others who are good at waiting – tell me, how do you handle it? Any tips for us newbies? Please share in the comments!

As always, thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Tom Petty knew what he was talking about

  1. Tom Petty also sad that “most of the things I worry about, never happen anyway”. Waiting does suck though. It’s hard to force yourself to do something else in the meantime, but when you do time does go by faster!
    Why don’t you try writing something like a short story about waiting? Project your emotions into work.

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  2. I relate to this SO MUCH. I’m in the same situation. Good things came of my first SCBWI conference/retreat in May and now wait, wait, wait. I try not to get disappointed before I need to, try not to get too hopeful, try not to think about it all the time. Like you, I’m trying to gain readers, amass Twitter followers, and balance family and writing time. I, therefore, have no advice to give you, but I applaud you for following your dream! I’m doing the same, and despite the waiting, it’s wonderful.

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    • It is wonderful, isn’t it? I always knew I loved to write – but had no idea how very much until I gave myself this chance. I do feel blessed to be able to immerse myself in it.
      All the best to you in pursuing the dream, too. I’ll hop by and follow your blog, as well. We can commiserate as we wait!
      Thanks!

      Like

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