Naming the Golden Minutes

There is a special span of time that is known to freelancers of all stripes: that magical period after you’ve delivered a draft to a client, but before they have had a chance to reply to you with comments & revisions (or, rarely, immediate acceptance).

It’s one of my favorite times on the job, and as I reflect on it, I realize there are three threads of feeling associated with it.

There is pride in accomplishment: in finishing a draft, I’ve produced something, which gives me a sense of satisfaction (and, for me, that continuing feeling of creative productivity has proven to be critical in maintaining my mental health).

It is also a time of calm and unwinding after the effort and stresses of production. Responsibilities are lifted for a short while, at least for this project. I can take a walk, chat with friends, or maybe just work on something else less pressing, unburdened by the need to feel “on the clock.” Now the ball is in the client’s court. All other things being equal, I like being the one waiting on other people, rather than the one who is holding everything up.

Though the pressure is off for a short spell, there’s also a tendril of nervousness that comes with it. My work is being scrutinized. Will they like it? Will I have to make major changes or start over? Did I end up spelling something wrong? What awaits me in that next email that comes from the client?

Overall, though, the feeling of calm accomplishment is usually a high point on the emotional roller coaster of production work.

The reason I wrote this post: I feel like this period needs a name. Maybe other sorts of freelancers (or even other mapmakers, or probably other people who just have jobs in general) have a name for it. But I don’t. Lacking one leads to long-winded explanations:

“Hey Daniel, how are you doing?”
“Great. I’m in the middle of a time-period-in-which-I-have-finished-a-draft-but-the-client-hasn’t-commented-yet!

So what do you think? What should this magical span be called, or what do people already call it?

I was going to offer a couple of my own suggestions, but I can’t think of anything that isn’t terrible, except for maybe “the Cease-fire,” but that’s a little adversarial, and I only feel like that about clients sometimes. So hopefully you folks come up with something. Or just use the comments to talk about your own feelings about delivering drafts.

Update: Marty Elmer’s suggestion is currently my favorite:

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