Sunday, April 30, 2017

Stuck in Limbo and All Those Other Uncomfortable In-between Moments

Stuck in the middle, hanging by a thread, twiddling your thumbs, caught in limbo... all these expressions and many more describe those moments in everyday life where you WISH you were moving BUT you're really sinking in quicksand, treading water ... okay, I'll stop with the metaphorical phrases. And it doesn't matter what it is you're trying to accomplish, you will find yourself in those in-between moments where nothing seems to be going anywhere. It's a struggle, and it's a gift to figure out what keeps you in that place and how to get out of it. Some people use mind over matter. You think positive and then you move forward, or at least in some direction other than standing still. Make sense? Okay, let's try it in reverse. Matter over mind. You see that obstacle in front of you, the one keeping your feet planted, growing roots ... sorry, at it again ... that obstacle, the one that won't budge? Well, back up, find some other "matter" to work with, i.e. another item on your to-do list, another goal you have in mind, and tackle that. Maybe your obstinate stinker pushing your buttons will give up and fly away. OR maybe you will come up with another solution later on to tackle your stubborn buddy. Never know.

Of course, there are plenty of situations where you have no control, someone else is in the driver's seat and you must be patient and wait. I got that. You all see that. Doesn't make it any easier being in limbo, but at least you know it's not your move. Ball is in their court. Wait for it. Keep busy doing something else. (How many times have you heard that one?!) Sure, you'll want to move on to the next step, the step somebody else needs to take care of, and there's nothing you can do to change the process. So, you wait for it. What's that other saying? Patience is a virtue? Says the person who had all the patience of a hundred people, I'd imagine.

Now, I get to the tie in... writing. It's a process. A very, very long process. You write. You finish a book. You query said book. You wait. And maybe wait some more. A process. And all the editors, publishers, and agents know this, too. Here's another tip--overused, overcooked, but totally true: get busy doing something else! Write another book. Plant a garden. Build a tree house. Do something! After all, a watched pot never boils. Okay, okay, I'm done. No more adages. Just saying good luck to you all, whatever your goals may be. Cheers!

Here's a post with a few more tips on how to cope with the query waiting game:
Tips for Query Waiting