Being a writer means you do a lot of waiting. Every writer waits. Published or unpublished, waiting is waiting. Waiting for proposal approvals, waiting for revision letters, waiting for copy edits, waiting for cover art, waiting for paychecks. (Most especially waiting for paychecks.)
"Wait" is an active verb. But it doesn't feel active. It feels stagnant. Like doing nothing. Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of doing nothing. I also believe everyone should loll. Lolling is an underrated activity.
But there are things you can't wait for ... like inspiration or a visit from the muse. Waiting can easily turn into procrastinating. Procrastinate long enough, and sometimes the issue you're avoiding goes away, loses its ferocity, its meaning. I know. I'm procrastination royalty. Or I was. Somewhere in the struggle to find stability and embrace routine, my fear of failure wrapped around the idea that if I do not address issues sooner rather than later (or never) I will backslide into The Life That Thoroughly Sucked.
I cannot go back there. Nope. If I do, all that feels so hard won now will be lost. I may give up. And I never want to give up. But I know, oh, do I KNOW, what it's like to be drowning in the murk of the soul---all the pain and darkness and ugly, not just what was around me, but what was, or still is, inside me. I am capable of making bad decisions. Of hurting people I love. Of doing things that are so, so wrong for me because I am afraid, because I want others to be happy or, if I'm honest, just not to be angry.
Yes, that's my fear whispering, whispering. Fear sucks. But it certainly motivates. I'm still shaking off the Old Life Ick. It's clingy, but I'm persistent. And there is something new inside me, something that is solid, like stone, like steel. It's not new in the sense that I added it to the core of who I am. It's new in the sense that I uncovered it---already there and waiting, like hidden treasure. Like a box I'd buried in the yard as a child and rediscovered as an adult.
Fear is impatient. It tends to go away when I stop, breathe, and think. Fear cannot exist in a vacuum. It doesn't like doing nothing, or lolling. It doesn't like to wait.
Neither do I, but I'm better at it. I'm waiting right now for approval for the proposal of NEVER SAY NEVER, and I'm in the early stages of waiting for revisions on MUST LOVE LYCANS. And as always, I'm waiting to get paid.
I want to write, so I am. I'm also doing a lot of staying up late and watching television and reading and lolling. I'm happy.
And so, I am waiting. Actively.