Thursday, May 3, 2012

Surviving The Wait

You hit send. And so it begins. The waiting. You check your sent folder. Yep. It’s gone. Now what? Do you spend the rest of your days hitting F5 to refresh your inbox? If you don’t at least feel the pull, I question your humanity. But you know, there’s no guarantee of a response. So here are ten different things you can do while waiting.

10. Be a kid again. Go down a slide head first. Blow bubbles. Color a picture. Walk on your hands in the swimming pool. Do something fun, and practice not caring what anyone thinks about it.
9. Find fun songs about waiting & sing them loudly as you drive through town with your windows down and your hair tangling in the breeze. We writers don’t have to look like soccer moms, you know.
8. Volunteer. Come out of your writer’s cave and see what cause needs some love. Tutor a kid. Help out in an animal shelter. Serve others at a soup kitchen. It will help put things in perspective again.
7. Ketchup. No wait, I meant catch up. That laundry pile looming and threatening to bury you in your sleep? The kitchen floor confettied with Goldfish crackers and Cheerios? Take charge of it before paranormal elements emerge.
6. Create flash fiction. Can you write a mini story? There are some fun contests out there with prompts and prizes to get you started.
5. Let out that nervous energy in a way that feeds your soul. If it’s running, run. If it’s playing guitar, strum. If it’s dancing, twirl. Your family will thank you.
4. Create a spreadsheet. When responses come in, you’ll want to keep good records so you'll know who you sent what and how they responded.
3. Read. Read for fun. Let a stranger’s story dance in your head. And when you finish that book? Read another one.
2. Plot, plan, dream. Start thinking about your next writing project. It’s time.
1. Write something new.

So what do you do when the waiting starts? Comment below and let us know.


  1. This is a wonderful list! I love ketchup :) Reading and running are my go-to while I'm waiting for response. I'm so glad you mentioned volunteering - it is extremely important to building communities.

  2. LIKE! :)

    I made a similar list a few years ago! Mine involved trying not to stalk my mailman. I think his name was Bubba. :)

    Great list, my friend. I especially love the ketchup/catch-up suggestion and the write something new suggestion!

  3. I think "ketchup" is necessary, because writing can be a bit like traveling while the rest of the family stays home. We're in our own little world, but when we come back there are lots of messes that need our attention.

    1. One thing that has sustained me through the many years of rejections (and waiting) is a talk I heard by Jay Asher at the SCBWI NY conference in 2008 called 'How to Get Published in 13 Years or Less.' He shared all the details of his long, arduous, rejection-filled journey to becoming a NY Times bestselling author! Perhaps my good news phone call will come tomorrow... or maybe next year. (but not too much later than that, I hope!) Meanwhile, I keep writing. Draw. And take the occasional trip to one of our gorgeous Western NC waterfalls.

  4. I'm so glad I'm not the only one whose kids run wild and whose house falls apart during novel writing season. Someone on twitter recently said "a woman with a clean house is not writing a great book" or some such. By the state of things here... I'm definitely the next JK Rowling ;)

  5. I sent a manuscript to editor 5 weeks ago. But of course it feels like 5 months.

    I've been working on another project, getting caught up on yard work and yes, reading.

    Also, today I rode a camel. Does that count?

  6. Laura,
    Great fun. I read #4 too quickly and I thought it said color a spreadsheet. So maybe you can add that as an option for those who don't like creating them. Count me in on that list :)

    Linda A.

  7. Constance- Love your ideas. Let's hope our good news comes in much less than 13 years!

    Leigh- I love that quote. Someone who sews should cross stitch that one a few times and sell it on etsy. Bet they could make enough to help pay for a regional conference. :)

    Joyce- Camel riding DEFINITELY counts. Now why didn't I think of that?

    Linda- Coloring spreadsheets, folding them into paper airplanes... hey, as long as you can still use them when you need them, go for it!