The Long Wait


When is the last time you've really waited months for something?

A job offer? 

A house?

A child? 

Waiting for bad news is worse.

A prognosis.

A court case.

Waiting is hard. You can distract yourself with spring cleaning, crafts, hobbies, exercise... but eventually, you exhaust your attention span and you're back to waiting.

The last month has felt like an eternity—waiting on contracts, orders, responses.

One month after submitting, I received another rejection:

Hi Ashley!

Thank you for sending this along. Although I think this concept is really fun, I didn’t find myself connecting with the main character’s voice. I’m sorry to say I’m going to pass on this one.

I hope that you find a great home for this, and I wish you the best of luck in your publishing journey.


Obviously, I'm disappointed. This response was from an editor at MacMillan, one of the "Big 5" publishers that dominate the North American market. If she had loved the story, I might not have even needed an agent. 

But it could have been worse. Editors are more likely to tell you exactly what they liked and didn't like, and she could have said the writing was weak, or that the concept was implausible. 

Instead, it was my heroine she didn't connect with. That's okay. It's a style thing. It's subjective. I'm still holding onto the confidence that some other editor will love my heroine.

I might just have to wait a while.

Some things make waiting easier. 

Speak with joy. 

I noticed how many of my "how are you?" answers were frustrated, fraught, anxious. Choose to focus on the positive, on what you can move forward, even if it's only knitting a toque or filing your taxes.

Live in hope. 

People don't get back to you because...they also have lives. Families, car accidents, illness, power outages—but our minds immediately jump to the conclusion that these people must obviously no longer respect us, value us, have dropped us like a hot potato and we're never going to hear from them. This is rarely true. 

It's easy to let anxiety overtake us. But look—we live, we breathe, we walk, we talk. I can think of 4 people who can't say the same; they are dying, they are on a respirator, they have lost the use of their limbs, they have a malformed soft palate which makes speaking difficult. 

Today, I can do ANYTHING I want. I am so privileged, and so fortunate, that I could travel anywhere, buy anything (the wonder of credit), do anything. With that kind of active power, surely I can choose not to let myself be weighed down with fear of failure, or rejection.

I can choose to build. 



Fortunately, the reality of waiting, is that something eventually happens.