'Tis the season for looking back on the last year and looking ahead to a new one. I'm awful at planning, and awesome at ruminating (thanks, anxiety!) so I've been thinking about the last year.
Almost exactly one year ago, the page in my planner read "Dobby is a free elf." I quit my (tedious, thankless) corporate job so I could finish a damn novel. My original plans included trying to freelance, but that didn't shake out so well. It's amazing how much work there is out there, if you're willing to be paid literal pennies for it, if anything. Pay your editors (copy, content, developmental, all stripes), people! Their jobs are hard! But, I digress.
I'd finally gotten to a point where I was comfortable enough claiming the identity of "writer" to make the leap and mean it. I farted around watching Netflix, too, but I finished the damn book. And then I started submitting it. I learned that, for me, writing a synopsis is harder than writing a novel. And writing a hooky query could be considered a form of torture.
The biggest thing I learned? Publishing is hell on a person who's not particularly patient. The pace can be glacial. It's understandable, considering that agents and editors could be receiving hundreds of queries each week, but man, when you're one of one hundred, it's painful.
I started thinking about my lack of patience, and how that makes my career choice a bit rough, yesterday when I derailed my whole day trying to track down a working SIM card for my new phone because I wanted to be able to use it NOW. (Should I have been clearer on the fine print when I bought the phone? Yep. Though shalt not speed read product specs. Or take your husband's word on all things tech.)
This job involves so much "hurry up and wait" and I am not good at it. So in the year ahead, if I set no other goals or intentions, I would like to set this one: Get comfortable waiting.
I sent out several queries this week and I can't sit here for the next eight to twelve weeks refreshing my email. I have to keep working. Keep writing. That story's fate is out of my hands for the moment, and that's okay. Deep breath. Next story.