Playing the Waiting Game

By Amanda Smyth Connor1300798_time_distortion

My husband and I are both waiting to hear back about new projects. We’ve been waiting for quite awhile. I’ve been waiting for about three weeks and my husband has been waiting for two and a half months! We have resigned ourselves to not talking about it, because frankly, we are driving each other crazy.

“Did you hear back today?”

“No. When I hear back you’ll be the first to know. Until then, let’s not speak of it. You’ll jinx it.”

And so on and so forth we go, playing the dreaded Waiting Game. We’ve also taken to not telling friends/family about it so that we don’t have to put up with the constant need for well-meaning updates.

We’ve all dealt with this situation – whether it had to do with waiting for a project to start, waiting to hear if you were chosen for the project or new job, or whether you weren’t – and the whole process can be slow and infuriating.  You’ve worked hard! You’ve done your best “tap dancing monkey” routine and you’ve brought out the big guns to impress the hiring party. You’ve done all you can, and now……………………………………………………………………….you wait.

What NOT to do:

1. Draft an email to your client/editor demanding answers that reads:

“Dear Sir/Madam, YOU ARE MAKING MY LIFE A LIVING HELL! When are you going to let me know about the new project? Are we starting this thing or not??! Tinkle or get off the pot! Love, Mandy.”

2. Compose a steady stream of hourly correspondence to your client/editor in a pathetic attempt to get the ball rolling/wear them into submission so that they hire you.

What TO do:

1. Distract yourself. Think happy thoughts and put it out of your head. There’s nothing more you can do. You’ve done your best.

2. Find yourself a Delorean and make like Back To The Future II to speed things up.

3. Refer back to #1.

Stay strong, fellow writers.

Amanda Smyth Connor has managed online communities and nationwide marketing campaigns for several start-up and  Fortune 500 companies, and has been an editor for more years than she can remember.

One thought on “Playing the Waiting Game”

  1. Nice perspective, Amanda. (Would have loved if you could have found a photo of a tap-dancing monkey!) I’m reminded of the well-worn saying about “First one to speak loses.” The first one to come across as a nag loses, too.

    I’ll occasionally embed a suggested follow-up time in the correspondence, so at least it’s expected. But truly succeeding in the waiting game is generally a matter of…waiting.

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