Waiting for a sign…

I’m not very good at waiting.

I try distracting myself with other tasks. Yesterday, I even washed my car. It had been so long, and my car was so dirty, half the neighbourhood came out to watch and take photos. It may end up in my local paper. I thought it was going to get to the point where I’d have to do some ironing…

But no. As of today, the wait is over. Or just beginning. I don’t know yet, do I? And I can’t find out today.

Because today I saw one magpie on my way to work. My lucky top is in the wash, and then needs to go in the never-to-be-ironed ironing pile before I can wear it again and I didn’t even get out of the office for a coffee.

Now… if it had been yesterday, that would have been a different matter. Yesterday, I was wearing my lucky top, I saw two lots of two magpies (that doesn’t count as four, because I saw them separately. Two pairs, double joy.) When I went into Costa Coffee, my favourite table was free – and it’s not just my favourite table, it’s my lucky table. If I sit there and check my emails – I’ll get good news. It’s happened three times now so it’s definitely true.

But this particular email, the one I’ve been waiting for, didn’t come through yesterday; it came through this morning, when all of the signs were wrong… Does it mean it’s definitely bad news? And will it really make a difference if I wait until the signs are better to open it ?

I could borrow next door’s black cat – force it to cross my path, lay a trail of cat treats. But I’m never sure if that’s good luck or bad luck?

Or I could drive around until I see two magpies…


Or I could just open the email.

Why do we writers put ourselves through this? End up reduced to the point of pushing a black cat along in front of us, buying twelve magazines in order to find one that has good stars for the month? Or is that just me? Please tell me some of you have lucky exam pants or lucky interview socks, or a special pen that’s the only one you can use if you want a piece of writing to go well?

It’s probably a rejection. I shall prepare myself for it to be a rejection. I have wine, I have chocolate, I can cope.

But what if it’s a yes? What if this is the one? The good news, the acceptance, the winner, the squillion pound book deal? Isn’t that why we put ourselves through it? Because of that What If? The rejections mean a momentary pang of disappointment. But an acceptance – the acceptance – could change my life…

If the signs are right, of course.

So will this be a yes? Only one way to find out… see you all later, I’m off to open some emails…

Vanessa x


18 thoughts on “Waiting for a sign…

  1. Waiting is by far the worst part of being a writer. It’s vile. Total sympathy but one day it *will* be the news you want. Can I just add, from the wrinkly old voice of experience, it probably won’t change your life as much as you think it will – and that’s a good thing? I’m not a Rudyard Kipling fan but I agree with the Triumph and Disaster thing to some degree, just to keep yourself sane. The people who cope best are those who have being Published – or not – in perspective. That’s not me, sadly, I still go up and down like a rollercoaster.

  2. PS My tip is this: the News will come when you least expect it. That’s what I tell myself, So as long as you can stop yourself expecting the News, you’ll hear. Just don’t think about it. LOL!!!!

  3. Thank you Phillipa! I think for the yet-to-be-published that land of the published author looks like an oasis. I’ll try to keep things in perspective… except the moment when/if I get that first deal. Then I will go completely nuts!!! Thanks for visiting.
    Vanessa x

  4. Another tip: Get into a minor row with someone or over something, nothing serious just enough to make you rant and steam for a few hours … when you next turn on your phone/pc to send a text/email to someone the News will be there waiting. Or answer the phone with “oh, s*d off!” thinking it’s yet another sales call, and discover it’s agent/publisher/editor with the News.

  5. I think a black cat crossing your path is unlucky… though I’m not that superstitious really.

    So don’t leave it there! What did the email say?

    I have all fingers and toes crossed and I’m wearing my lucky socks.

    • So all my bad luck could be because of next door’s black cat, then?? Thanks for visiting, Teresa!
      Vanessa x

  6. I used to always walk over two lots of manhole, but three lots was bad luck so always avoided them. Don’t ask why, but I’m sure when it comes to it, it’s a habit I might start up again.

  7. Hi Catherine – that’s a new one on me. Better add it to my list and start counting them when I go out again later…
    Vanessa x

  8. Hee hee, don’t you just love a cliffhanger ending? I promise to post again when I have anything exciting to tell! Thanks for visiting, Liz.
    Vanessa x

  9. You are so right, Vanessa. Waiting is the worst invention ever!

    If I see one magpie I look away, then look back. That counts as seeing two magpies.

    Oh yes it does ;

    Good luck with those emails…

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