Tom Petty was just “Waiting…” Lou Reed and The Velvets were “Waiting For My(their) Man”. So what would you be waiting as a writer, particularly if you are something that is considered an all-round freelancer?
Actually, more or less everything, from assignments, through contracts to payments. But there’s one more important wait to be considered, and it is connected with ideas. No, not the wait for the ideas to come. If you simply wait for that, they will not. The waiting I have in mind is the moment when a particular set of ideas fall into place when they form the exact kaleidoscope that will lead you meaningful, well-rounded text. A page and a half or a three volume novel. Makes no difference.
But how you tackle all those jotted down notes, typed pages scattered over at least five different word processors or notes programs, mumbled messages to yourself on your mobile while waiting in a supermarket line? It is easy to say any way yo want, but there’s got to be a method. With the exception of when you are already working on something and there is this single piece missing, you cannot simply rush into transferring half-baked ideas into a full-blown project. All the credits to Lou and his then band for coming up with a classic rock song of urgency and ennui, but while there might be urgency involved in writing, you don’t really need the ennui. Of course, unless you are writing about it and want to express it through your words.
All those written, typed, spoken notes need to be put to rest (even if it is a matter of a brief pause) for a while, put into separate compartments where they belong, or you think they do and even if those compartments are only mental ones. Metal ones will do too. Then your wait can produce something really worth (the wait?) putting down as a set of words that you would wish somebody else to read. Exceptions are there, they always will be, when words just start pouring out of you, as they have their own setup, but those situations are rare (and usually produce something exceptional). But then, such outpourings themselves are more often than not a product of accumulated and compartmentalized ideas placed somewhere in your notebooks, files or mobile recordings and definitely your mind.
When the ideas are set up they are meant to be, you might find even more enjoyment in Lou and The Velvets wait.