I’ve written before, I’m pretty sure, about my feelings when it comes to waiting for a phone call that you know for sure is coming. It’s a particular flavor of horror — the slow dread of waiting for it to happen, while being unable to bring it to fruition any sooner, or really do anything else to distract yourself, for fear of missing the damn thing when it eventually comes around. For someone with any level of social interaction anxiety, it’s a genuine terror.
I’m currently living a different incarnation of the same problem — waiting for emails to arrive. As of writing, I have something like four or five different emails out with questions needing answering before I can move forward on any number of projects, freelance gigs, or stories that I need to write: some of them are waiting from statements from publishers, some are from editors giving me notes, or responding to pitches, some are from publicists who need to confirm or deny specific things I’ve asked before I make a story live.
The one thing connecting them all, though, is that I need a response before my next step… and, until I get that response (and ideally a response that actually responds to what I’ve asked for; I’ve had one publicist send a number of messages that promise a real response soon, but that real response is nowhere to be seen, five days later), I can’t really do anything. I’m in limbo.
The problem is, I’m really in limbo, right now — I have so many of these messages awaiting answering that I’m running out of alternate things to handle in the meantime as I wait, without overcommitting myself to things that deadlines won’t support. (As it is, at least a couple of things are running very, very close to deadline and I’m more than a little nervous.) But I can’t actually do anything… except wait. And stress about it.
Maybe if I refresh my inbox one more time, that will help.