Boldly on Hold
Seems to me that though there’s a lot of scrambling going on in these difficult economic days, in some sense the country is on hold. Lots of decisions, actions, expenditures have been delayed. (Yesterday a writer told me about her novel, which was close to sold in October. A well-known editor at a major house loved it, needed only a committee’s expected approval, said it could take as much as a week. The writer is still waiting. Her agent says it’s going to happen but not soon because, “Things are a mess here.”)
This brought to mind a question: how does one best handle being on hold? A lot of that depends on money of course: whether, primarily, to focus on writing another novel or on finding a job bagging groceries. However, there’s a psychological part of the response that is also important. It’s a question of keeping on with what’s important anyway.
Once in my early pre-email years of freelancing, I had a few days when I didn’t have enough money to buy stamps. I just kept writing the letters, so I’d have them ready to send, when I got hold of the stamps. It was only letters, and it was only a few days, so no big deal. But now, we face something like that situation nationwide, and I think it’s important that we keep on with our important work, even while on hold.
And maybe there are ways that being boldly on hold can offer something new and useful to the process. I also remember a screenwriter talking about how upbeat and productive she was during a writer’s strike of many months. She had a sense of freedom, because she knew the phone wasn’t going to ring, knew already that she wasn’t going to sell anything today; and so she worried less and felt free to concentrate on her work.