When You're NOT in the Driver's Seat or as Tom Petty Says, "The Waiting is the Hardest Part"

First of all, thanks to everyone for chiming in on the "Does Reading Make You a Better Writer?" post. What a way to rile up the masses! I'd also like to thank Alan Orloff for featuring the post on his illustrious blog in a post entitled, "Smackdown: Reading vs Writing."

The result? As with most things in life, do what's best for you and follow your instincts. Read when it's right for you to read, and write when it's right to write!

Now, for today's topic: Waiting. Don't you hate it? For a bus, a letter, a phone call, a decision... When you're waiting for something in life, you're not in the driver's seat. Whatever the "thing" is you're waiting for takes the wheel.

In the case of writing, you may be waiting to hear back on a query, partial, full, word from an agent or editor, or you may have your work out on submission and be waiting to hear if it has sold. In all of these cases, you are in the submissive state of handing your power over to someone else.

What got me thinking about waiting and being (or not being) behind the driver's wheel is twofold. First of all, I took the picture at the top of this post yesterday when my son and I had lunch at the new Olive Garden in town. Yes, we have a new Olive Garden and that, in itself, was well worth waiting for. The puppy was in a car in front of the restaurant. He seemed to be waiting, too. (Most likely for the shrimp scampi and all-you-can-eat bread sticks and salad, and who could blame him, really?) Secondly, I'm waiting back to hear from a specific agent on a specific submission. I have other submissions out as well, but this one has a time-frame wrapped around it, which makes it far more nerve-wracking.

My question to you is this: What do you do when you're waiting for news? If you're a control freak like me, how do you get past the doubts, the fears, the clock ticking ever-so-slowly yet loud as thunder in your ear?

I've never been good at waiting. I blame it on my Brooklyn DNA. Really, it's not my fault. I can't help that I was born there. In the meantime, I write, tweet, play spider solitaire, write a new blog post, and check my email "in box" like a hundred million times an hour. (Native NY'ers have a reputation for exaggerating. No idea where that comes from.)

What do you do?
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