Enjoy Being Three

This week we have talked about all of the waiting we do as writers. If we could come up with a collective total of all of our waiting, I wonder how many thousands of years we would accumulate!

My youngest daughter, my bundle of joy, summed up the entire waiting process quite well.

Yesterday as she perched on the bench at our kitchen table, she proudly stretched out five fingers and announced, "I'm five."

Being the ever-teaching mommy that I am, I quickly held up three fingers and said, "No, sweetie, you're three. See, one, two, three."

She looked at my fingers then stuck out her bottom lip. "I don't want to be three anymore. I want to be five."

Her sweet little declaration echoed my inner struggle. I don't want to be a wannabe writer any more. I want to be published. I'm "three" in writing years, but I'd rather be "five."

The reality is that I can't skip ahead in my writing career any more than my daughter can skip ahead in her age. So. . .what do we do with all that impatience that keeps building and building until we feel like we'll go crazy with the pressure of waiting?

I loved your comments this week and I thought I'd share just a few of the many that encouraged me:

Katie: We could look at this [waiting] as an utter waste of time. Or we could ask ourselves what we did while waiting in line. Did we pray, bond with friends/family, reach out to a stranger, enjoy the time?

Cindy: Continue working on something. If you've finished one manuscript and polished it, and sent out queries, don't just sit and wait for something to happen. Start a new project. Work toward the future of your writing.

Melissa: It was a lesson in patience. He [God] showed me that it was the process that is most important - the actual writing, not the publishing.

Wendy: I think God is trying to do some of the essential work while we wait. We can resist or we can take notice to what He's doing during the wait.

Robin: My husband used to say I'll be happy when I have this or this. I always told him, if you aren't happy with what you have now, what makes you think you'll be happy when you get it (whatever it is. ) Be happy with now and enjoy the journey or else you'll miss some amazing experiences.
Lady Glamis: I like to have the vision that the path is the worthwhile part, and that publishing really is a goal that might best be reached after we have grown and suffered for it. . . In the meantime, write away! And enjoy it!

My summary: Enjoy being three; you'll be five soon enough!

Do you have any other encouraging words about waiting? I have just loved hearing your thoughts this week. It's given me fresh perspective. Thank you!


  1. No more encouraging words, I think you've summed them up. :-) Your post is so hilarious because I've been going through the same thing. My middle son just turned three and now my four year old wants to be older too. So he's going around and saying he's five. LOL Then last night, while tucking three year old into bed, I was like "You're such a big boy," blah, blah, pretty much just turning into a mush. And he looked at me with a silly smile and said, "No mommy, I'm five." LOL

    What is it about that number? Your daughter is adorable, btw.

  2. Jody,

    I've really enjoyed "getting to know you" through blogging. I know it will happen for you! Meanwhile, I agree with what so many of the women wrote above...

    I think the best things to do in the waiting are to trust, pray and to keep writing.

    Happy Thursday.
    ~ Wendy

  3. The only encouraging advice I can give is to have a sense of humor about it--create a wacky calendar, write a satirical/snarky post.

    Novelist, I assume, struggle more with waiting because the process is so much longer in order to see themselves in print. As a short story writer, I humbly suggest you write/submit flash fiction (works under 1000 words, usually) as a way to ease the angst of waiting. It won't disrupt your work in progress too much; it's a change of pace; it gets something of yours out there, which gives the feeling of satisfaction; and, you normally here back from a market in a couple of months--tops.

  4. your daughter is a cutie! What a sweetheart!

  5. Your daughter is adorable! I find myself waiting to be out of this recession, have work and get on with our lives. Every day I wake up I think "Is this the day?" It is hard to live in the moment but I'm trying. GOd gives us only today to use and when I remember that and focus, it helps alot!

  6. Hi Jessica,
    That's hilarious that your children are saying the exact same thing! Five must be the magical age!!

  7. Hi Wendy,
    I've enjoyed getting to "know" you too! Thanks for your words of wisdom! You seem like a very deep thinker and I've appreciated your insights and your blog!

  8. My youngest is three, too. Isn't it an amazing age? I'm just in love with her every day all over again.

    She wants to backtrack to babyhood, and DOESN'T want to get bigger. I guess I can look at that as a lesson to work my hardest as I go, both filling in the waiting time - AND ensuring I don't find the need or want to backtrack. 'Cause I can't do that, either.

  9. Hi Rebecca,
    Are you back from your trip?! Great advice! We sometimes need to just laugh and not take ourselves so seriously! And that's great advice about working on shorter writing pieces to help with the waiting and to build our writing career. Thank you!

  10. Hi Katie,
    Thank you! She truly is a joy to me!

  11. Hi Terri,
    So, true! God doesn't guarantee that we'll have tomorrow. Today could be our last. So it's wise to live in the moment and make the most of it!

  12. Hi Janna,
    Three is such a delightful age!! I can totally relate to the back-tracking too! We've had those days when my daughter reverts to being a baby (probably because everyone else treats her that way!).

    You made a good analogy to our writing--we don't want to stagnate; we always need to be moving forward, slowly but surely!

  13. What an awesome summary! Just think, we didn't have to wait, how many cyber friendships may we NOT have discovered? It's worth the wait for an infinite number of reasons.

  14. P.S. Your little three-year old is so beautiful. Her strawberry hair reminds me of middle daughter, Sabrina, at that age.

  15. Hi Eileen,
    How true! I've made some great friends (like you!) who are so encouraging to me on this writing journey. I thank the Lord for this blessing!

    And, I love my little daughter's hair too--she's my only one that may have gotten my reddish hair color!

  16. I actually have a small portion of my book devoted to this subject. When I wrote it my mind sat on it and contemplated how much wasted time is spent worrying. I try to not waste so much time waiting and wanting, although it's easier said then done!!!

    I'm not looking for self promotion here, just wanted to share a small portion that started me thinking about this issue....


    “When alive, we spend so much time worrying about time. When we are children we notice how slow it is going. Then, as we get older how fast it has passed. When at work, while waiting for an appointment, at school, we watch the minutes as they tick away till that time has expired. We pay such close attention that most often; it seems to be all that matters. We worry about how long we spend happy, how long we spend sad. We agonize over how long or short the time is that we have with our loved ones before they die. While living, people pay attention to the tiniest moments with impatience. They grow impatient watching water boil, waiting for a friend to arrive, wondering when the mail is going to come. Everything is centered on time.”

    I could not help but think how silly it was that I too had once worried about all those small, insignificant things. I too had placed the majority of my thoughts waiting, wondering and worrying. I now felt a tinge of regret for wasting so much of that precious time.


    Writing this was one of the best things that ever happened to me :)

  17. Wow Marybeth! That is so insightful!! Thank you for sharing that with us all! Maybe you should post that on your blog!! We do waste so much precious time over worrying about insignificant things. We can never get back that wasted time. So why waste it in the first place?! Right?

    On a different note, I didn't realize you were writing non-fiction (I thought you were writing fiction!). Looks like you have a great book going!

  18. Thanks :) It was a wonderful portion of the book to write.

    And no, actually it is fiction. It ties right in to the entire story :)

    I will definitely take a day to devote to that subject on my blog. Thanks for the idea :)

  19. sage advice from a little adorable sage. :)

  20. Pray, pray, pray! That helped me the most. :-)

  21. I think writing years may be like dog years. Least every one feels like 7 to me.

    That makes me nearly 60.

  22. Jody, I am more than happy to follow you! I saw this post linked from another blog (I forget which one) and connected immediately. Waiting is a struggle, especially if one is waiting for the opportunity. Thank you for sharing!

  23. Hi Travis,
    You are just too funny! But I really like that analogy!!

  24. Weronika,
    Thanks for your input! I wish you the best in the writing of your new book!

  25. What a cutie! Your daughter sounds tenacious. All I can say about waiting is that I'm trying to have fun with it. This is only a phase, just like high school. At some point we "graduate" and I'll bet we'll look back with nostalgia on this time.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  26. Nothing more than to try and enjoy where you're at, I guess. Thank you for summing up! And thank you for spurring such a great thing to blog about! You're a genius. :)

  27. You summed it up so well in that one little sentence.

    I too would rather be 5 in writing years.

    You are right though, we must have patiencs and grow up in our own time.

  28. Hi Jill,
    Yes, "tenacious" is a quite the word to describe my littlest. I guess she kind of has to be with four older siblings! She definitely keeps me on my toes but is also such a joy.

    I like how you describe this pre-published time as a phase like high school. I liked college so much better than high school! So maybe that's why I'm impatient to move on!

  29. Hi Lady Glamis,
    You've had great thoughts about the waiting this week too! Thanks for your inspiration to think about it differently!

  30. Hi quixotic,
    Thanks! Waiting is definitely something I hope I can get better at! I kinda hate to be right there with my 3 year old with how I handle my impatience!

  31. I want to be five! That is a brilliant analogy, out of the mouths of babes, right? Big HUG, I wish the Lord would speed things up for me as well. It feels everyday ends without much changing on the writing front for me, then one week rolls into the next and on and on until months have passed and I'm starting to feel a little stuck. *sigh* Oh to be five.

  32. Hi T.Anne,
    Big HUG to you too!! I just love the things my children say! I find so many nuggets! (And weird jokes too especially from my 11 year old!)

    The weeks seem to be rolling together for me too! I think that's why I've been struggling so much lately with impatience! But I've certianly learned a lot this week from everyone! God's beginning to slowly change my perspective on this whole waiting process!

  33. What an encouraging post Jody! I do like to get another project going while waiting, and submitting smaller pieces to some of the literary journals helps. One of your commenters above mentioned flash fiction, which is great because it's not too long of a project.

  34. Waiting is less stressful if you keep busy.

  35. Hi Joanne,
    I have loved the smaller fiction too. I've had several smaller things published while I'm waiting on my books. And that's helped tremendously to boost my self-confidence!

  36. Hi Angie,
    I agree! The business takes our minds off the things we're waiting for!

  37. Your daughter is so cute. My son at the age of 7 starting saying "I know my wife is out there somewhere, I just have to find her." Huh? It's lead to a few interesting discussions and life and waiting and what is a wife?"

    I don't have much to add about the business of waiting, except to not think of it as waiting. While I'm not waiting for the next best thing to happen, I'm enjoying what is currently happening right now. Yes, eagerly anticipate the future and dream about selling that first book or whatever your dream is. But don't give up the present.

    There's a quote and I don't remember who said it.

    "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift - that is why we call it the present."

  38. Hi Robin,
    That is such a beautiful quote!! I will have to write it out and post it in front of me to remind me! Thanks for all of your comments this week! You have a great perspective on the journey and the wait!


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