As writers, a good portion of our time seems to be dedicated to waiting. You wait to hear back from agents, you wait for contest results, you wait on e-mail replies, you wait for your critique partners to read your projects, etc. And if you’re like me and aren’t the most patient person, the waiting can be hard.
I recently got a request for a full manuscript from an agent. I’m over the moon about it! But I do have to wait twelve weeks to hear from her. Twelve weeks can feel like forever when you’re excited about the thing you’re waiting for. So how do I pass the time? These four tricks help.
1. Finish the project
You know which one I’m talking about. That one project that’s been sitting amongst all your other documents for years, always half-written. What better time to buckle down and finish it than now? You’ll feel so much better once it’s done, and productive, too.
Whether you love it or hate it or feel somewhere in between, it has to get done. You’ll be so surprised at how fast the time passes when you’re immersed in the world of revisions. And once you’re done waiting, for now, you’ll have something else to send off to your peers.
3. Plan your next adventure
A novel, short story, poem, blog post, whatever. Even if you don’t write a single word of it, the act of planning something is enough to get you excited and distracted from your waiting.
I’m constantly messing with my writing space. I’ll swap out old pictures for new ones, move stuff around, fiddle with my magnet board, etc. It’s a great outlet for restless energy, and the change of scenery, however small, will help you get a fresh perspective on your writing. Just moving your chair from one side of your desk to the other can make a difference.
How about you? What do you do when you have to wait? Let us know in the comments section.
What’s testing your patience right now? Query responses? Critique partners? Whatever it is, try one of the four tips above to help pass the time. Share your work in the comments, if you wish, and give your fellow writers a little love, too! Have fun!