Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why Waiting is Sometimes A Good Thing

First of all, let me be quite clear - I hate waiting. Hated it since I was a kid and my mom would be puttering around the house doing God knows what while the rest of us waited in the car knowing we'd be inevitably late for whatever event we were headed to. I despised walking in after something started with all eyes on us and everybody thinking, "Finally. Now we can eat." (Note: My Portuguese family didn't like waiting to get started in on the food.)

I think that's what made me become the chronic early arriver I am now. I am always at least 15 minutes early to doctor's appointments, meet ups with friends, etc. My clocks at home are set five minutes fast just to get my chronically late family out the door just a little bit faster (and, just as an aside, what giant cosmic joke has been played on me that not only was I raised by a chronically late arriver I am now surrounded by two out of three offspring and one husband with the same disease? /rant ). Yes, all in all, I'd say one of the great beliefs of my life has always been that faster is better, waiting sucks and life's too short to spend twiddling your thumbs waiting for stuff to happen.

You know where this is leading, don't you? Yup. That kind of blanket belief is ripe for a challenge. Through my writing journey I've learned that early is not necessarily better all the time. And taking your time can be a very good thing sometimes.

We all know publishing is a slow business - g-l-a-c-i-a-l-l-y sloooooooow. I wonder how I've stuck it out for as long as I have knowing my little personality quirk. But I have learned to appreciate the time it takes to get things done in this industry. Take, for example, the fact that once a book is acquired it takes about a year to have it released (let's not get into how long it takes to get a book acquired - that's a whole other level of waiting). Sometimes less, sometimes more but on average you've got about a year if you're lucky. Some writers have to wait almost two years to get a slot on the publishers list. Yes, that year or two can be excrutiating wait for that final step in the journey. Especially when you've got friends and family members regularly asking you: "When's you're book coming out?" (insert Nelsa grinding teeth here)

I've got about five months to go until Illegally Blonde is released and now I can say I'm really glad it took this amount of time. I'm waiting for the last final proof to arrive from the publisher and I'm not going to rush going over those pages (well, if I'm given a day to look over them then I'll rush! :). But now, more than ever, it is a time to savour the book - before it's released. It is, in a weird kind of way, my last time to 'own' it. This year long wait has been my opportunity to get used to the idea of being published. It's been a time to prepare myself for the book being out there - for me being out there to promote it as best I can. People are starting to ask what I'm going to do about the book launch and I tell them I'm not sure yet. I'm taking time to sort ideas out in my head. There's nothing concrete yet but, for once, I'm taking my time to figure it out. I'm sure when the release comes everything will seem super speeded up so I'm not complaining about the wait now. I kind of appreciate it.

I've definitely learned that slow isn't necessarily always bad, that rushing to or through something can lead to mistakes (especially speeding tickets), that taking the time to savour the moment - to really think about where you are now and where you want to be - is something everyone should learn to appreciate. For me, this year long wait for the book to come out has been a good thing.

Now, if I could just learn to appreciate how long it takes my son to get himself dressed in the morning...


  1. sounds like you've acquired "waiting wisdom" along the way. I'm so happy for you and your publishing success! Keep us updated on all the good stuff coming. Because there is a lot more coming! :)

  2. Thanks, so much! I have to say waiting is way easier when you have supportive writers around you like the Blueboarders!