Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday is for Waiting

For those of you in the writing biz, you already know there is an awful lot of waiting involved. My friends and I affectionately refer to this as "Waiting Hell." There's a certain camaraderie that develops in Waiting Hell. It's full of "Hang in there!" and "Don't worry, it'll work out!" and "Be patient -- your time will come!"

Patient? Yeah, right. Ha-ha-ha! Writers are just full of patience. But don't worry (hee!), if you are not patient by nature, patience will be thrust upon you.

But back to waiting. It's pretty much unavoidable, mainly because -- and this is shocker, I know, but it's a good old-fashioned home truth, so you might as well get used to it -- we are not the only writers in the publishing universe. The agents, editors, and publishers have a lot of writers to contend with, and while we, of course, are (or are destined to be) their favorites, they still have to make time for all those others. Fair is fair.

*sigh* I know. Home truths are so annoying.

Fact is, you will be waiting, for one thing or another, from the time you take up the pen.

~Waiting for "inspiration." 

~Waiting to hear back from agents about your queries.

~Waiting for revision suggestions, once you have an agent.

~Waiting, while on submission, to hear if an editor wants to buy your book.

~Waiting for edit letters, once an editor does acquire your book.

~Waiting until your book comes out.

~Waiting to hear if your next book will sell.

And on...and on...and on... Not really anybody's fault; it's just the nature of the business.

Now, to kill waiting time, you can always stare at the clock until you you warp it from your brainpower alone...

...which, while pretty cool if you can pull it off, probably isn't very productive in the long run.

Or, you DO what you CAN do, instead of obsessing about the stuff you have no control over.


1. Work on your next project. Trust me, you'll be glad you have something banked when the time comes.

2. READ something. One of the biggest perks to being a writer (whether already published or not) is that reading is not only allowed, but a necessity. Think about it. Guilt-free reading time. It's like somebody telling me not to fill up on veggies, that I MUST save room for chocolate.

3. Hone your social networking skills. Again with the guilt-free. You're not "wasting time" with your incessant twittering and blog-reading. You're building your platform!

4. Stockpile some blog posts. (Okay, I'll admit -- I could be waaay better at this one. We all have our weak spots.)

5. Bake cookies and send them to your favorite bloggers. (On a totally unrelated topic, chocolate chip cookies are great, aren't they?)

Any other suggestions? How are those of you who are waiting for something filling your time? Melting clocks, or perhaps something slightly more productive?

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