I hate waiting. I need to be patient, but…as the old saying goes: I want patience…NOW!
I feel like half the writing game is waiting. Well, maybe a third. I let an idea percolate in my brain and WAIT ’til it’s better developed before I write it. Once I’ve written the crappy first draft, I WAIT a few weeks before I tackle it again in rewrites/edits. Fast forward several steps…I hit submit and WAIT ’til the publisher/agent/editor gets back to me (this can take weeks to half a year or more.)
Note that I am not blaming the publishers/agents/editors; they’ve got their plates full, that’s for sure. But what do I do while I’m waiting?
– WRITE SOMETHING NEW. Distraction is key. Plus, new words means I’m that much closer to having something to send out again.
– CHECK MY EMAIL. Because, you know, that publisher might respond early. But, ooh, look! Spam.
– READ A BOOK. Writers must be readers, after all. We’ve got to study our craft. Plus, bookish people are sexy. Yeah.
– KEEP UP SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE. Connecting with readers is vital. You gotta build real relationships and trust. I can’t say I’ve made one sale from Twitter or Facebook, and that’s all right. I have some spiffy new friends through the www.
– CHECK MY EMAIL AGAIN. It is important to obsessively check email accounts several times a day. You never know if a Nigerian prince has moolah to send your way. Then you can forget the whole writing thing and relax on a beach somewhere.
– WATCH MOVIES AND MOVIE TRAILERS. Sound lazy? It’s not. The trailer to the first Sherlock Holmes movie trailer (Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law) broke me out of the Writer’s Block Prison I’d been stuck in for a year.
– LOOK AT ART. You can do free virtual tours online. Art can keep the creative juices flowing in a steady stream.
– CHECK EMAIL AND WEEP COPIOUS TEARS BECAUSE THE NIGERIAN PRINCE BLOCKED YOU AFTER YOUR MARRIAGE PROPOSAL. *sniff*
– ATTEND THE THEATRE. Live action shows, baby! Let them creative juices saturate your brain.
– AUDIT COLLEGE COURSES/ATTEND FREE FUNCTIONS IN THE COMMUNITY. This is more than busywork. It’ll make you more well-rounded person.
– HANG OUT WITH FRIENDS. Writing is a lonely business. Don’t neglect people in your life. Their support can mean so much.
– TALK TO YOURSELF. Sometimes you are your own best company. Take yourself on a date and discuss your latest work in progress. This is a great excuse to order two desserts.
Keep your pen on the page,
What do you do when you have to wait?