Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Ready, Set….Wait!

38 Comments

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.  ~ Anne Lamott

“Please have a seat in the waiting room. The doctor will be right with you.”

I followed the receptionist’s instructions and took a seat. I waited for the next hour.

“Jill, you can come on back.”

The nurse took me to a Lilliputian room. She asked a few questions and took my blood pressure.

“Please wait, the doctor will be right with you.”

As I sat in the arctic room, I realized how much I dislike waiting.

In October of 2012, I wrote a short story and decided to submit it to a magazine. The guidelines indicated it could take up to six month to receive a response. I mailed my story and as each month passed without a rejection, my hopes were high.

At the end of the sixth month, I had become as patient as a child on Christmas morning. I decided to contact a writer who had been published numerous times in this magazine. She told me it was a good sign that I hadn’t received a rejection and I should resubmit my story. I checked the guidelines and they did say it was okay to resubmit after 6 months, so I did.

Three months after resubmitting my story, I’m still waiting. Most days, I don’t think about it. Some days I can hear the mail truck coming toward the house. I visualize my self-addressed stamped envelope with a contract inside, among the bills and junk mail.

Waiting and wondering can be nerve wracking and both are passive. I’d rather focus on what I have control over, so I’ll continue to write and submit. I’m currently working on another story for the same magazine. I’ve learned the waiting game goes with the territory and this is a territory I chose to explore.

I’m curious, what do you do while you’re playing the waiting game?

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

38 thoughts on “Ready, Set….Wait!

  1. One thing I realise is that when I’m waiting to hear about submissions I’m less productive with my writing because my brain is busy wondering. I finally decided that I had to take more control – if I couldn’t do anything to influence the people I was waiting to hear from, it was a waste of time to think about it. So, every time I find my mind wondering about a submission I say ‘just write’. Lovely quote by Lamott.

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  2. I’m still waiting to hear from the magazine to see if I can freelance a few articles…..I hate waiting too!! Good luck with your submission….I’m sure it will be published. 🙂

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  3. Hi Jill, I don’t like to wait either. I’ve never submitted anything for publication, so I can’t speak about that kind of waiting. In other aspects of life, I fill the waiting by trying to keep my mind busy by not thinking too much about it. Waiting for the doctor is a different story!

    My doctor’s office tend to answer the phone (after pressing the numbers for the somewhat twenty something options) with “please hold” and the holding will go on for minutes. One day I told the receptionist that I was unable to hold. I think I caught her off guard and she took my call.

    Another time, I waited at the chiropractor’s office for over an hour and when the assistant came in the room I calmly explained how I felt about waiting for such a long time (especially since I was hungry) and I left. I never rescheduled that appointment.

    Two days ago, I took my daughter to the doctor and after waiting over half hour, I stuck my head out the door and asked one of the assistants to check to see if the doctor had forgotten about us. Of course, I was very sweet and polite. The doctor came in almost immediately! 🙂

    Best wishes with your submissions! Please let us know when you get your acceptance letter and contract so we can celebrate with you:-)

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    • Aren’t doctor’s offices the worst, Elaine? First you wait in the “waiting room” then they make you feel as though you’ll be seen shortly, but they stick you into another tiny room, to wait.

      Way to go, speaking up! Waiting over an hour is inexcusable…good for you for making the decision to dump that doctor.

      Thanks for the well wishes. I’ll certainly keep you posted. Have a wonderful weekend, Elaine!

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  4. Oh my goodness, that is one long comment!

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  5. How very frustrating even if waiting goes with the territory. As they say, “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” I have no doubt that you will experience the success you are waiting for. 🙂 I am a pretty patient person but also want things ASAP and NOW. Kind of a tough combination. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Maria! I’ve made the decision not to think about that particular submission and to move on. You’re funny…although I only know you through our blogging conversations, I can tell you are a woman who wants things done NOW! I’m all for that! 🙂 I loved your latest post…I’m still laughing. Have a great weekend!

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  6. Waiting IS difficult, no matter what the circumstances. I’d suggest not only submitting other pieces to the same magazine, but (when possible) do multiple submissions to other magazines. But how to make the waiting easier? Sorry, I’m impatient myself, so no good solutions!

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    • Great advice, Candace! I suppose the more submissions you, a time will come when you’re surprised with some good news. Multiple submissions is a great idea and one that I did recently. Enjoy your weekend, Candace!

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  7. Waiting to hear back from editors is so frustrating isn’t it? Sadly, I think that writers have to become past masters (is that the spelling?) at the waiting game. There’s no getting around it apart from burying your head in your work and occasionally chasing them up when the calendar says it’s tardy o’clock! But, oh my goodness, I sympathise! I was close to chasing one up today then I realised it’s “only” been four months!! LOL Thanks for writing my very thoughts xx

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    • It certainly is, Jill. I think all we can do is to submit, forget about it and go on to the next project, otherwise we’ll go crazy! LOL….four months can feel like an eternity when you’re waiting. Wishing you the best on your latest submission. Enjoy your weekend!

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  8. I’m querying agents, so I’m playing the waiting game too, Jill. Waiting is difficult, isn’t it? While I’m waiting, I’m working on other projects–another and a short story. I’m trying to uncurl and not be anxious about it (though this is difficult).

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    • You’re doing the right thing, Marie. Working on other projects is the best way to avoid the wasted “waiting” energy. It is difficult not to be anxious, especially when every car that comes down the road sounds like the mail truck! 🙂 Have a fabulous weekend!

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  9. Waiting is very frustrating. I have had waiting experiences with newspapers but waiting patiently does pay off. You are an excellent writer and I am sure you will get a response soon. Just keep writing and one day you will have a big surprise and your happiness will know no bounds. Wishing you all the best. I love Anne Lamott’s quote. LOL once I was waiting for an answer from the newspaper and they did not answer but just published my article without even informing me, thank God I checked the newspaper. So keep checking the magazine maybe this will happen to you as well. All the best, and have a lovely weekend Jill.

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  10. write, fret, and fire off more poetry…

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  11. Your lovely comments are always a perfect closure to my week, Samina…thank you for that. That is so funny that the paper published your article without telling you. I hope they remembered to pay you. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend, Samina.

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    • Thanks Jill. No actually I never charge them for my articles so maybe that’s why they publish them. Some social issues need to be addressed quickly so maybe they are kind, and I tell them that my writing is my public service. Mostly I write for local newspapers and the issues are also related to the community. Thanks for such a beautiful comment for me, take care and enjoy the weekend Jill.

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      • You’re doing a great thing, Samina. I wouldn’t expect otherwise from you. Your blog is another example of your generosity to the public.

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      • You are such an inspiration for me Jill, I am blessed to have you as a friend. Thanks for encouraging the goodness in my heart with your lovely remarks. God bless you with happiness and success. Take care and have a lovely weekend.

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  12. I don’t really submit stories anymore, since I rarely hear back. Same deal with agents who ‘guarantee’ to reply to all queries. I never heard back from a one of them when I was querying my manuscript. Now I just write the stories I want to write and make them as long or as short as I want to make them, and f*** it if no one likes them but me. As long as I enjoy the writing!

    Good luck on your submission! It may help to have a few irons in the fire and stagger your submissions so you have something coming at least every 6 to 8 weeks.

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    • Thanks, Eric! I’ll definitely be taking yours and Marylin’s advice. I have another submission out there for a contest, but they haven’t reached their deadline for entries.

      I love that you write for yourself! It’s a great feeling and it makes writing more fun. I’ve heard so many published authors say to enjoy the time before publication…..gives you something to think about.

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  13. First, if I hadn’t heard in 3 mos., I would have contacted them to double check if they received it…and I would have started sending it out to other places (a minimum of 3 who do take simultaneous submissions). Is there some ultra-significant connection to this one, long-wait-and-hold-your-breath publication?
    Just reading your posts tells me what a good writer you are, Jill. Research other publications; search through the current WRITERS MARKET; attend writing workshops or join writing organizations; network with published writers. Do NOT hang your hopes on an unreasonable, faraway star.

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Marylin. Coming from you, I take that as a real compliment.
      This particular magazine stated in their guidelines not to contact them, just resubmit if you haven’t heard in 6 months. I was afraid if I didn’t follow their rules, they would give my story the boot whether they liked it or not. 🙂 After the 6th month, I did send the story to a contest.
      “Do NOT hang your hopes on an unreasonable, faraway star.” Love that! I certainly plan to follow your advice…thanks!
      Have a great weekend!

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  14. Hi Jill – you and me both! Having just had a piece rejected by a competition, I have now sent the same story off for magazine consideration. I’m going to take Marylin’s advice above and flood the market – I believe in my story and had favourable feedback from my writing group friends. Multiple submissions are a bit time consuming as each publication has it’s own submission guidelines which must be followed TO THE LETTER – otherwise it’s a sure fire way to go straight in the bin!
    Lots of luck to you Jill – lets hope we don’t have to wait too long!

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    • Marylin did had some great advice. I’m glad you’re going to follow it as well. Sorry to hear about your recent rejection, but I’m happy you’ve sent the story elsewhere. Best of luck, Jenny! Keep me posted.

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  15. Waiting is a pain, Jill. If I’m at the doctors I’ll take my phone and read blogs 😀 Best of luck with your story – I think the best thing to do while waiting to hear about that is to sit down and write more 😉

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    • Thanks, Dianne! I’m embarrassed to admit, I’ve got the dinosaur phone…aka…flip phone. 🙂 I did recently purchase my first Kindle, so I guess I’m making progress. 🙂 Coming from an author with many published books under her belt, I plan to follow your advice. Have a great weekend!

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  16. I’m like you – I really don’t like the waiting game, but there’s a lot of it if you’re trying to make it in the writing world, so I’m learning to send something, then move onto the next thing, or the next place, and try not to think about it.

    Good luck with your story!

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  17. Thanks for this. For me, because I’ve been waiting for the visual side of the post-production to be completed for my online animated musical, I’ve taken to writing pop songs — I’ll be recording demos of a few of them shortly with the hope of selling them. Oddly, they have turned out to be country songs for the most part, which is not really a genre I usually listen to. I guess I’ll just discover more as I go.

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  18. Interesting, Chris. I’ve also started dabbling in a new genre. Like you, I’m figuring it out as I go along, but for now, it’s been fun. Best of luck to you; please keep me posted. Have a great week!

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  19. Waiting stinks. After years of waiting, my only advice is to ignore it. Send it out and then actively put it out of your mind. Start a new project, revise another project. Stay distracted. 🙂

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