How to Play the Waiting Game Just Right

Right now, I’m waiting for my attorney to call me back. I’m waiting for him to tell me that my husband and I are out of attorney review on the house we bid on, so that we can conduct our inspection and then wait some more (it’s a short sale, so our fate lies in the hands of the bank).

I’m also waiting for a ghostwriting client to come back with feedback on the proposed TOC I sent along to her last week. Once the TOC is approved, I can invoice for my first chunk of work and move forward on the project… a project that happens to have a very tight timeline.

And then there’s that other ghostwriting client who’s not yet officially a client. I’m waiting for her to make some final decisions on the last, little details of our contract together, so that we can get it signed.

I’m also waiting to hear more news from my literary agent. There are at least six editors who are just starting to dig into my book proposal, and the suspense is killing me. Will we need to send out a second wave of proposals? Revise? Will someone actually want the damn thing as is?

More things I’m waiting on: That IUI Medication Class my husband and I have to attend before we can move forward with fertility treatments. I’m also waiting for my web developer husband to start developing my new web project. I’m waiting for this. I’m waiting for that. All this waiting is driving me crazy!

So am I supposed to sit here and watch Dr. Who on Netflix Instant until I hear news about… something?

Hells no! (Though I totally did that yesterday, because all the waiting was making me so distracted.)

Even when everything is up in the air — and you’re waiting on clients for paychecks… feedback… anything  — there are other things you could be doing to keep your business moving:

  • get started on that assignment you’ve been putting off; better to have it in early than to panic about it later on
  • stop procrastinating over those chapter revisions
  • do up some blog posts in advance; it’s always good to have a backlog for the busier times
  • do up some queries and LOIs, making the attempt to build relationships with new editors and publications
  • touch base with with past clients, present clients, and others in your network; remind them of the services you provide
  • do all the little things that need to be done in order to market your business. This little bit of purgatory you’re in? It’s a prime opportunity to drum up new business, and handle all the small tasks you never seem to have time for when you’re busy creating.

Are you watching Dr. Who right now? Stop it. Stop it this instant. Stop watching the clock. Stop watching the TV. Start watching out for your business.

Related: How to Keep Up the Momentum During the Holidays


  1. Ahhh! I love this! Why do I always get stuck in “panic–do nothing” mode while waiting instead of something productive like this??!

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