Playing The Waiting Game

I had a hard time writing today’s post, but it’s not because I didn’t have anything to say! In fact, I had a great topic to share with all of you—my loyal readers and also my new virtual friends just stopping by. But, I just couldn’t turn my idea into more than a thought today. And I realized why.

I’m playing the waiting game.

And I hate the waiting game! I imagine most of you feel the same way. It’s weird, I’m a pretty patient person in normal situations, but not today. Not at all.

So here’s the thing. I submitted my entry to the Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction contest a few weeks ago on the Miss Snark’s First Victim Blog. I had to. I love this contest so much! I’ve followed it since its first year. Go to http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-2014-bakers-dozen-agent-auction.html to get details!

Go now. It’s that cool!

For those stubborn few of you who won’t click right now, basically writers submit their loglines and first 250 words in hopes of being chosen for the agent auction. Competition is fierce. Only 150 MG/ YA and 150 adult entries are considered. This was a first come first chosen process. I made it to that point. Phew! But now Authoress and YA author Jodi Meadows will read the entries and choose 35 MG/ YA and 25 adult entries from the slush. Those 60 entries will be put up on the blog for public critique and then a panel of agents will have a chance to bid on the entries they like. Bidding is fast and ferocious on the day of the auction—quite exciting actually! It’s fun to see how many entries get bids (not all do) and for how many pages (from 5 to a full manuscript request).

I have no illusions of being chosen. I’ve traditionally had trouble putting forth a sparkling first 250 words. (That’s hard to do, right??) Don’t get me wrong. I’ve revised them, I’ve polished them, I’ve had them critiqued (many times!), but still, it’s so tough to show a strong sampling of your MC, their world and the conflict on the first page. Still, I do love my opening, but who knows if Authoress and Jodi will too! And they may not. But still, I had to try. That’s how much I love this contest.

And so I wait. Along with 299 others who also submitted. Hmm, sounds a lot like the querying process, don’t you think? We wait for others to judge our words. We wait for the answer we want to hear. We try to stay busy in the meantime. We try to distract ourselves. We convince ourselves we don’t care if we succeed or not. We eat cookies. (Snickerdoodle, of course.) We take on another project. We might even write. But still the wait is hard whatever we do to pass the time.

But as much as I hate waiting for this news, there’s other news I’m waiting to hear today too. And it has nothing to do with writing. My son will hear today if he made the High School Varsity hockey team. Okay, before you say it, I know. This is not life changing. There are children out there waiting for miracles. My little friend, Avrie is one. There are parents waiting for their missing children to return. My friend, LuAnn is one. So believe me, I do have perspective on this.

But, making this team means THE WORLD to my son. He has played hockey since he was six. It’s a game he lives day in and day out and ever since he realized that his dad played on that very same high school team, his dream has been to make it too. As a freshman. Yikes. That’s a lofty goal around here. His school does not have a JV team let alone a freshman or modified team. So Varsity is the team to try out for.

It has been agony watching him stew over this for the last few weeks. The two week tryout has been tough. Not just physically, but also mentally. One day he is convinced he has a legitimate shot. The next day he says he has no chance. Just yesterday, he told me he doesn’t deserve to make it anyway because he hasn’t worked out in the off season enough and maybe he needs to learn a lesson from this. What?? This is my 14 year old!

Today, the last day of tryouts, his spirits were much better. My go-get-em kid left for school with fire in his eyes, bouncing on his toes, ready to convince the coaches that he would make a difference if given the chance to be a member of the team. Now that’s more like it!

Sound familiar?

I think many of us have our doubts as we await big news. We cut ourselves sometimes before the coach has a chance to do it. We think maybe bad news may be easier to hear if we decide ahead of time that we don’t care anyway. But really, who are we kidding? I really do want to make it into the auction. I want to get my work out there. And even though I know there will be other opportunities for me to do that, I would be thrilled to get this one. And so I wait. 🙂

And so will my son, in those agonizingly long moments in the locker room later today, for the news he wants to hear. And I would trade my good news today in a second, if only he could hear his. It’s a parent thing, I guess.

And so to all of you out there waiting—whether it be for an agent request, a book deal, a place on a sports team, a college acceptance letter, your child to come running home unharmed, or the successful completion of a bone marrow transplant, I wish you the news you are waiting to hear. 🙂

 

8 thoughts on “Playing The Waiting Game

  1. Sara Ella says:

    This is such an encouraging post! I’m playing the Baker’ s Dozen waiting game too. Along with the query response waiting game and waiting to hear back from 2 agents who have had my full MS for almost 2 months. Waiting is so hard, but it’s a huge relief when it’s over. Win or lose, good news are bad news, when it’s over you can move on, whatever that might entail. Thanks for sharing and good luck in Baker’ s Dozen!

    • swirlandspark says:

      Hi Sara! Thanks for posting. You’re right. Win or lose at least we move on…again and again! Or for however long it takes! Good luck to you too. Thankfully, we’ll all know soon enough:)

  2. bethhautala says:

    It’s always the unknown and the hoped-for that both breaks us and keeps us going, no? I’m checking MissSnarks every day to catch the sent of good things to come, and I’m praying for your success in this my friend. Yes there are others waiting for significant things, and by comparison this may seem small . . . but rest assured there is nothing small about daring to dream big when the odds seem stacked against you. It’s one of the bravest things you can do. Lean in! And know you’re not waiting alone.
    Also, you have excellent taste in cookies. 😉

    • swirlandspark says:

      Beth, It’s nice to know you’re in my corner. This may be my chance and it may not, but I won’t stop dreaming and working for it, that’s for sure! I’m thankful to have you as inspiration-to see that it can be done! Perhaps we’ll get together one day and share stories. I’ll definitely bring the snickerdoodles! 🙂

  3. bonnigoldberg says:

    I’m right there with you in the Baker’s Dozen. I *love* Authoress’s latest post on the selection process– great insider’s perspective. It’s hard not to view any writing (or other) process as a series of win or lose instead of just the next step on the way. After all, even if we’re selected, we might not get agent bids, and even if we get agent bids, we may not end up with representation, and on and on. I’m as entrenched in this mode as anyone else– when the bot selected my logline for critique, I was overjoyed!

    • swirlandspark says:

      It’s great to hear from someone else in my shoes! And yes, you’re right-this is just another step in the long journey toward publication, but it helps to know others share the anticipation. Good luck to you too! Snickerdoodles all around! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s