Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Waiting Stew & a Slice of Humble Pie

I am not a patient person. I want what I want right now. I make a decision and then, bam: I do it. I take action and worry about all the details later. I'm not sure when I became that person. 

When I was in high school (and even through some of my college years) I over-analyzed everything. I scrutinized every little detail, every possible outcome and then, after another pro/con list, I decided. There was one point I remember specifically that I made an informed decision and then, the outcome really sucked, and at the same time I found the ones I dove into had better outcomes. Then "diving in" became my life. Why make plans when they always end up changing or not turning out how you planned anyway? So, now I'm not a patient person. Even moreso than before. I'm a "take action" girl. Ask any of my friends. 

The problem is that writing, publishing and everything in between is the slowest moving industry ever. Seriously. Sometimes I feel like I'm frozen in place, watching everyone else move around me at insane speeds. It is not an easy place for impatient people. 

When I first started writing, everyone always told me there was a lot of waiting. I never really understood what that meant, but three years later and I think that's an understatement. There's not much besides waiting. And then rushing. And then more waiting.

I am making a stew...Waiting Stew. I have all these things in it: editing projects, secret projects, crits, moving plans, job plans, writing. There are at least fifteen things I'm stewing and yall, I am getting hungry. When you aren't a patient person and you feel like you're only waiting, then it gets really, really hard. Because you can't take anything out of the pot until it's ready and you can't turn the fire up any higher because you aren't the one cooking it. All you can do is WAIT. 

In my current situation, it's really hard for me not to grab things out anyway. Like I said, I'm a doer. I could take control of maybe half the things in the pot if I wanted to dive in head first and not worry about the outcome. But I care a lot about the outcome, so I have to wait. 

The question I've been toying with in the midst of all this waiting: what can I do so I don't think about it?

I don't have all the answers. Heck, I don't have any of the answers. But I'm trying to be patient and I remind myself five times a day that it will be worth it in the end. I have things I can do now. I can do a crit for one of my CPs. I can write, even if it's the crappiest crap ever. I can read or watch shows. I can talk to friends. I can actively look for ways to solve the saving money/moving/finding a job part of life. I can look for ways to encourage other people.

While I wait, I think I need to have a slice of humble pie.

Dean loves pie, though I doubt "humble" is his favorite.

Because I have this thought: We don't like waiting because we feel like we should be the priority. 

I gave you my MS drop everything and read it!...I finished edits, so re-edit them...I want to work with you so just decide and give me an answer so I can move on!...I want out of here; how I can I do that quickly?...{insert other exclamatory here}

But I'm learning, in all this waiting, that *gasp* it is NOT about me. Which is really hard to swallow sometimes. But it's not. And I think I dive into things without planning because I want it to be about me and I don't want to wait for the things I want.

 I'm learning, I may be the one waiting, but I'm not the only one waiting. 

And all of our time is useful, so maybe I need to eat some humble pie and figure out a way to fill up the time. And the best part? Someone else is probably waiting on something too. Never alone. Have some pie.

What about everyone else? Anyone else have this problem? Have any suggestions to share about letting the time pass and being patient without obsessing?? 

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