What Are You Waiting For?

Recently I read a couple of other blog posts about waiting. It struck me that most of us on this writing journey are WAITING for one thing or another. We're moving along the path to publication waiting for the next bend, always alert for what's ahead.

I'm like the child who perpetually asks "Are we almost there?" I plod along wishing I was "there." I worry and obsess about what's coming. Sometimes I even miss out on things going on around me because I'm distracted. Impatience easily settles in (like we talked about yesterday!).

We writers all wait for the same big thing: publication. But what are the smaller things we wait for along the way to publication?
  • Finishing a manuscript

  • Contest results

  • Returned emails or phone calls

  • Notification on those "smaller" writing projects

  • Responses to queries

  • Agent decisions about partials or fulls

  • Feedback from critique partners or editors

In our instant-oriented culture, we expect our needs to be met our-way, right-away; if they're not, we grow frustrated. We're inculturated to believe if we have to wait for anything, then something must be wrong.

I'll be the first to admit I like microwaves, fast food (especially Panera), 10-minute Oil changes, quick-drying nail polish, and high speed internet. If I have to wait more than a few seconds for a page to appear on my screen, I get irritated!

Let's face it. We modern Americans hate to wait.

This mindset carries over into our writing as well. I wish I could eliminate all of the waiting that happens on the writing journey. But perhaps the difficulty of waiting is another part of God's plan for strengthening our character. He allows this hardship to challenge us to stretch our muscles and grow.

What are you waiting for? And how has the difficulty of waiting helped you to grow?


  1. Ah yes... waiting! I admit, I hate it too! I once heard that the average person spends seven years of their life waiting in line. I have no idea where this statistic came from or if it's even true - but WOW! Seven years!?! Just waiting! We could look at this 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? Or did we tap our foot, jut out our chin, and get very frustrated? Ones obviously not a waste of time, the other is. I tend to find myself in this second category and am currently working on fixing my attitude problem. Great post!

  2. Like Katie, I feel like I need one major attitude adjustment. The waiting game is a hard one for me and I suppose that God has been teaching me that for the past 3 years. I don't feel this waiting in my writing since I am so new, but life in general has made me impatient of late. This stretching and growing through the challenges are difficult, yet I know God will produce something of far greater worth through the process.

  3. Waiting is def. hard. I keep checking the mailbox every day, my inbox too, hoping and hoping.
    One of the hardest waits I can think of is when I'm pregnant. Now that is a test. LOL

  4. I think I'm waiting for all of your bulleted points. :D
    Some days it's harder than others...probably based on my focus. I loved the above comments. I agree, Jody - 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.

  5. Hi Katie,
    Seven years?! That's an amazing statistic! I guess that really means we need to take stock of what we're doing while we wait. Are we wasting time? Or as you said, putting it to good use? I tend to tap my foot too! I really want to grow, though!

  6. Hi Sherrinda,
    You're right, writing is just one aspect of the waiting. I'm sure it must be really hard to wait on God's plan for you and your husband with the church situation? I'll be praying for God to give you peace, because he does promise to give us peace that passes understanding!

  7. Jessica,
    I definitely check my inbox many times a day!! And I agree, pregnancies are very hard waits!! I found the wait to get pregnant even harder!

  8. Hi Wendy,
    I often let my impatience keep me from looking at what God is trying to accomplish in my life through the wait. Lately, however, I've been trying to understand how he's working in my life through this whole writing process and all of the waiting. And it's been a good reminder that ultimately I'm doing all this for his glory.

  9. Hi Jody,
    Thanks for your comment...while I was honored to be featured in that book, I find that my nonfiction writing is often different than what I wrote in that piece. I also favor fiction lately (even though I'm working on a nonfiction book currently) if I haven't confused you enough...I like to dabble in both, while I get more excited by fiction.

  10. Waiting on time to open up so I can continue ms revisions. One of the benefits of the perpetual waiting is development of that virtue -- patience. :)

  11. Waiting ... yes ... I had 3 miscarriages last year and have no children. So I'm waiting to see when I get pregnant again what happens and if the dr's advices and medicines all help me have success!!!

  12. I think particularly with writing, waiting is amazingly difficult. We are not necessarily rewarded for hard work. We don't always get a pat on the back if we put in a 70 hour week. Acknowledgment doesn't always come when we want it. In addition, when we do hear some uplifting news, there's not always a rhyme or reason to it. We might hear three great things in one week, and then nothing for two years. Such is the writing lifestyle. We have to be flexible.

    I've found the best way to deal with this is to 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.

  13. i'm waiting for contest results! then i feel i'll have something solid to go on from the judges' feedback. i know everyone likes different stuff, but for some reason, these readers/judges' opinions weigh in more. does anyone know when we should start hearing back from genesis and TBL?

  14. I think is quickly inspiring a blog post from me... I think that oftentimes our goals in writing are skewed and we shouldn't really be waiting at all, but enjoying the journey. Thanks for a great idea. I'll link back to your blog post if I do something on this. :D

  15. Hi again, Wendy,
    Thanks for sharing more about what you write! I just love getting to know fellow bloggers better! Someday I'll look forward to reading both your fiction and nonfiction! It sounds like with your nonfiction you're working to build your writing platform.

  16. With my writing--everything you mentioned:)
    With my life--to see what God wants me to do now with our circumstances.

  17. Hi Angie,
    Maybe once the graduation hoopla is over, you'll have more time? It's great you've been able to keep your family a priority during this busy time.

  18. Hi Jamie,
    I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriages. I can empathize with your waiting and your frustration. I experienced three miscarriages in a row too. It was an excruciating time of waiting. It's so, so, so hard. I honestly can't imagine anything harder to wait through. You'll be in my prayers.

  19. Hi Cindy,
    I think you hit the nail on the head. We work so hard without any pay back (or very little). It's so hard to keep persevering. But I like your idea to continue working on something. Then at least we can keep on improving our craft and keep our mind occupied with the next project.

  20. Hi Jeannie,
    I think contest results are top on my mind right now too! I read on the ACFW site that finalist would hear between May 1-15. But I don't know when the rest of us will hear. If you find anything out, will you let us all know? And I don't know about TBL either. I'm super curious now!

  21. Hi Lady Glamis,
    I would LOVE to hear more of your thoughts about waiting! Your initial thoughts sound really intriguing! So please do a blog post and help us all learn NOT to wait! I do think the worry of waiting zaps the joy out of the journey.

  22. Hi Terri,
    I think it would be hard to be waiting in writing and waiting for things in "life." It would definitely be a stressful time. God will really be stretching you and helping you grow!

  23. I admit it - I too hate waiting! The worst writing related waiting I've ever gone through is when I had partials and fulls out to agents. The waiting to hear back makes time go sooooo ssssllloooowwww. I guess it's a good reminder though, that there are just some things that are out of our control.

  24. Oh, Jody, what do I wait for? I wait for the feeling that I'm ready to submit, I wait for the lessons my writing is surely trying to teach me, I wait for His next guiding step. Being a Christian is a life of waiting on Him, I believe.

  25. Great post.

    A few years ago, when I was shopping around a manuscript, I was in the waiting mode. And it began to consume me. I just wanted the answer NOW NOW NOW. And I wanted to be published NOW NOW NOW.

    God had other ideas, however, and that manuscript did not get published. It was a lesson in patience. He showed me that it was the process that is most important - the actual writing, not the publishing. I'm trying to hang on to that lesson. :-)

  26. I'm not the most patient person in the world--just ask my husband! However, this past year has taught me to quietly wait for my ultimate dreams to come true.

    I can see and understand how if I would have gotten my wish last year, I would have been woefully unprepared for publication. So, I work at little (and big) things every day, knowing God will decide when it's time. Until then, I'll give 100%.

    I so enjoy your blog Jody. Thanks!

  27. Hi Kate,
    I can totally relate. An agent has had one of my MS's for months and months! I comfort myself in the fact that she asked for it and saw promise. But I sure would like her to read it!!

  28. Hi Eileen,
    As I was thinking about the whole waiting process and writing my post, I was looking up Bible verses about waiting. And the Lord reminded me that we wait for him too! That seems an odd concept, but is so Biblical. We wait for his presence, for his guidance, for his promises. But at least we know while we wait for him, that he always has our best interest in mind and works things out for our good!

  29. Hi Melissa,
    Thank you for sharing! I think I've yet to learn the lesson that the process and actual writing are what matters. I'm still in the NOW phase! But slowly I'm learning. It's just so hard!

  30. Hi Jill,
    I always appreciate your wise comments! I hope that in hindsight I will be able to see my own growth. It's hard to remain patient and trust that he'll direct us in his timing! But I just love your attitude about giving 100%. Let's do that together!

  31. Hi there. I nominated you for an award. Check it out on my blog.

    Lynnette Labelle

  32. I'm always waiting on that next great idea that demands to be written.

  33. Hi Lynette,
    Tnanks bunches!! I'm honored!

  34. Hi Travis,
    Thanks for stopping by! It's hard to find fresh, unique ideas! Seems like we have to dig deeper and wait longer to find them!

  35. Oh, I love that picture!

    I've thought about this a lot lately, too. Seems I'm always waiting for something, with my writing or with my family or home. I've got to learn better to live in the moment, or the steps to get there will completely pass me by.

    Great post!

  36. Hi Janna,
    Thank you for stopping by! I love the way you put it: we've got to learn better to live in the moment! That's SO true, but so hard!!

  37. Great Post, Jody and between you and Toni Causey of Murderati made me think of a post to do. I linked to your post on my blog.

    Instant satisfaction. I know I suffer from it but all that changed when we had James. He became our one and only, even though we hadn't planned it that way. He changed my outlook on life and we take each day one day at a time, enjoying each moment. Since I've discovered writing, I'm enjoying the process and trying not to rush it. And when I feel like rushing it, I try to remember it's the journey not the destination that is the most important part.

    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.

    Thanks for a great post.

  38. Hi Robin,
    Thank you for such an insightful comment! I will definitely have to remember to stop and enjoy the journey a little more! I'm so busy right now, that it gets hard to enjoy each moment. I feel like I'm doing all I can to keep my head above water and breathe! I know God is totally stretching me through this process. But I so-o needed the reminder to be content with where I'm at on this writing journey! Thanks for sharing, Robin!


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