Two things have been on my mind lately: waiting and hope. They are integrally linked. Without one, you don’t have the other. If you’re not waiting, you’re not hoping. If you’re not hoping, you’re not waiting.  I can tell you that many times, I want to give up on both. But somehow, I hold on to hope and it keeps me waiting.

Currently, my daughter has been waiting and hoping to be accepted to medical school. A letter from one school came in the mail. My hands shook as I raced up the stairs to her room and waited for her to open it with bated breath. Good news! She’s been placed on the waiting list. Hope is still alive. Tears burst forth and I hugged her, the feeling of joy worth the wait.

I’m waiting to hear back from editors and agents, hoping for a publishing contract or offer of representation. It’s torture because I know from experience I may not get the response I want and it will be crushing. But, I’m hoping that my dream will come true. I visualize the cover of my book and how it will feel to hold it in my hand.

People say love or money make the world go ‘round, but I contend it is hope. It keeps us going, makes us work toward our goals and desires in the hope that today is the day the waiting will be over and joy will ensue.

How do we continue to hold onto hope? What keeps us waiting? What works for you?


16 Replies to “Holding on to Hope”

  1. Waiting and hoping are certainly part of the writer’s journey to publication, but I encourage you to take a more active, assertive approach. Don’t stop your forward progress to wait and hope, both of which are passive behaviors. Instead, keep writing. Keep learning. Keep honing your craft. Work on building your author brand. Attend workshops. Participate with a critique group. Keep developing professional connections and learning about the industry. If you remain active, you will feel more empowered and retain more control over achieving your goal.

    Good luck!

  2. Waiting and hoping are meant for patient people. I think I need work in that department (grin). I agree with Maria. It’s good to keep moving forward in a positive direction.

    1. Thanks, Abigail. I think the dislike of waiting is universal. I’m a Virgo and I used up all my patience on my children. LOL!

  3. Hi, Jan. Congratulations to your daughter! I wish her all the best. I’ve spent plenty of time in my life waiting and hoping. I remember the months after a particular RWA National conference, where six big editors asked for my full manuscript. But I never heard another word after I submitted. Hmmmm. Waiting and hoping…And then Alison Delaine, wrote a post for the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Blog that changed my life – and not just my writing life. It was titled “Three Ways to Take Back Your Power – Now!” Instead of spending any more time waiting and hoping, I started my next book and felt IMMEDIATE empowerment. I have taken Alison’s advice to heart and now use it in all areas of my life. Alison will be presenting a workshop on this topic at RWA Nationals in San Antonio (which I will be privileged to introduce 🙂 if you’re there, check it out. If not, here is the link.'s all it took for me to view waiting and hoping in a different light.

    1. Heather, thanks so much. Will check out Alison’s post. I always have a book going, but I sure would like to see one in PRINT! Must have faith that it will happen. Gotta believe or I will give up and that I refuse to do. I think that’s the point of the post I was trying to get across. It’s hope that keeps us writing, submitting, revising, and DESPITE that rejection letter or interminable wait, we do it all over again. =)

  4. What a difficult question! I’m finding it’s a question that stays relevant even after you get that “yes” from an agent or publisher. There is always something more to be waiting and hoping for, whether it’s good sales or another contract or hitting a list… I think the list of things to hope for is endless! Pushing forward with the next project and the next ideas definitely helps (waves and thanks, Heather!). But I am very guilty of not doing “hope” very well. I tend to fall into expecting the worst so I won’t be disappointed, which is a terrible way to live. I’m working on having a more hopeful mindset!

    1. Good points, Alison. I always say hope for the best, prepare for the worst. So I know what you mean. My New Year’s resolution is to be more positive. I’m a work in progress. =)

  5. Thank you for this post. I needed to hear this right now. My life is in upheaval and I know it will all work out, but patience is running thin. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes we do have to just wait it out–while doing all we can to take as much control as possible.

    1. You’re so welcome, Cheryel. In times like that I always go back to my favorite bible verse: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1 Here’s hoping and praying all is right in your world very soon.

  6. Great post, Jan. I don’t think anyone likes waiting, for anything! (drive throughs, microwaves, instant everything) but waiting on a dream is the hardest. I love all the advice from others above on active waiting, on doing something we DO control while waiting on things we don’t. I’ve also found that to be the “easiest” way to wait.

    Keep writing, keep hoping!

    1. I did a ton of waiting today at Shands Hospital. Good news is, hope was rewarded, as well as prayer. Dennis came through surgery with flying colors. I shall keep writing and keep hoping. Thanks, Connie.

  7. I agree with all of the above. Sitting around and hoping for “the call” is too passive if you want to succed. You have keep moving forward while you hope or you’ll get mired in the muck of nervous anxiety or depression. It’s fine to hope, but hope with action makes me feel better.

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