Hanging In There

- by Charlotte Hubbard

Patience is a virtue. It just doesn’t happen to be one of mine sometimes.

So lately, when I’ve been turning up this Hanged Man card during my Tarot meditations, I believe this fellow’s telling me it’s time to chill . . . to give things a chance to work themselves out. (My thanks to artist Will Worthington for his permission to use images from his lush, wonderful DruidCraft deck.)

I’m getting the “be patient, dear” message on two levels: as I’m leaving one cycle of life circumstances behind to start another, and as I’m dealing with a few writer-related people who are making me WAIT for their service.

I don’t wait well. And when I have paid out a chunk of change for someone’s expertise and service—especially when they are oh, so eager to take me on as a client and to take their fee in advance—and they then become non-responsive to my emails and questions, I don’t like it much!

One guy has been taking forever to upload my out-of-print Westerns so I can sell them online at Amazon and  Barnes & Noble. Another gal, setting up virtual tours for my upcoming books, has seemingly disappeared into cyberspace even though one of my titles comes out in less than a month. She did this last spring, too, and I almost didn’t sign on with her for another tour. ***NEWS FLASH! Read to the end!!***

And another fellow bought print copies of those same out-of-print Westerns and after I mailed them he realized that he, um, couldn’t pay me for them yet. Grrrrrr . . .

I’ve learned the hard way that sending repeated, politely insistent messages gets me nowhere with these people. So what shall I do now?

I think the Hanged Man has been appearing in my recent spreads to tell me to hang loose . . . to let a few circumstances I can’t see work themselves out instead of insisting I have complete control over how every detail proceeds.

After all, do we ever have complete control, really? It’s one of our most universal illusions, isn’t it? The Hanged Man is all about submission to a higher will; surrender to the plan God or whomever you consider In Charge has already put into place.

Submission? Surrender. Oh, that is SO not me!

But as I mature, and as I navigate the ever-changing waters of the writing and publishing business, I’m learning new survival techniques. And I’m starting to realize that getting all bent out of shape doesn’t convince these folks to help me any faster, and while they remain seemingly unfazed by my demands for attention, I only get more stressed and frustrated.

Does this mean I’ll let them off the hook? Absolutely not! I expect to get what I’ve paid for. But I’m going to try a more soft-pedal approach. Maybe it goes back to the old “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” adage . . . a different tone to the messages I don’t send as frequently.

While I never used to see myself as an irritant, or someone who ticks people off, getting disinherited from my dad’s estate has suggested to me that my words and opinions can sometimes hit people the wrong way. (Me? An irritant? Go figure!)

So as I deal with folks who make me crazy (yeah, Dad was one of them!) I’m going to take more deep breaths and focus on the Hanged Man card.

I’ll try to assume his peaceful mindset . . . although my inner cynic wonders if he’s bound and gagged to keep him from spewing out his frustrations and his true feelings when people annoy him!

Maybe this bigger life cycle I’m preparing myself for involves a major change of mindset, and different tactics for dealing with difficult people. Maybe such an evolution will even help me handle an editor who asks me to rewrite EVERYTHING I turn in to her, in every stage of the book.

Last week when she told me my new synopsis should be rewritten to skip the romance/courting stage and begin with the H/H getting married and blending their large families, I actually hung up without throwing anything across my office or feeling my blood pressure shoot through the roof. Progress? I can hope.

Oh yes, I have to totally re-think my entire book. And yes, this puts my neatly planned writing schedule at least a week behind on the book I’m currently writing. But I remind myself that control is an illusion . . . that bigger and better things will come if I go with the flow instead of wasting my energy being peeved at people.

Hmmm . . . maybe if I imagine my editor in the Hanged Man’s place, dangling upside down, naked, bound and gagged and helpless . . . ah yes, yes, I’m starting to feel a whole lot better about this revision now . . .

***NEWS FLASH!! I wrote this post on Friday, August 3rd, and by Monday, August 6th BOTH the fellow uploading my books AND my virtual tour guide sent me updates that have their work right on target! I believe, firmly, that by stating my intentions for patience here in this blog post, I turned some wonderful energy loose!! And see where it got me? Now, the editor? I’m also mellowing my feelings about her because my *other* editor has now sent word that she wants three more books in my Amish series!! So, I’ll just leave that other editor dangling upside down…

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