(Originally published on December 4, 2021)
As Tom Petty said, “the waiting is the hardest part.” It’s all about expectations. Waiting months and years, big blocks of time though they are, can be frustrating, but that’s nothing compared to waiting for something that’s supposed to happen “soon,” but just… doesn’t.
Of course, that depends what it is. Some soons are far more certain than others. For example, if it’s 5:00 am, I know the sun’s going to rise soon. There’s no stress involved. If it’s 2:00 pm on a weekday, the kids will soon be home from school. And then there’s publishing…
I know, I know, things in publishing happen slowly. Like, every single step of the process. I’ve been working on getting my first book published for the past few years, so the snail’s pace does not surprise me. But this past week I was delighted to receive an email with the promise that one particular thing was going to happen “soon,” only to realize that sadly, it could mean something very different to the sender. After all, time is relative, right?
Did she mean “soon,” as in a few minutes? A few hours? A few days? A few weeks?
Thankfully, the event the sender referenced – an email from someone else – did occur within a few hours, but only after I’d spent a torturous afternoon wondering just how long I was going to have to wait, and contemplating the cruel lack of specificity of the term “soon.”
Of course, when that highly anticipated email arrived three and a half hours later, it promised that the next step would happen “within a few days.”
That was four days ago. SIGH.
When will the next step happen? That’s anyone’s guess, but definitely not soon enough.