Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Waiting for Godot. And Other People.

I'm totally horrible at the waiting game.  But whether you're waiting for an agent to read your query, an editor to read your manuscript, or your beta readers to critique your latest manuscript, here are my do's and don'ts. 

Since I'm the most impatient person I know, I can't say that I've consistently practiced what I'm preaching here, but cut me a little slack for trying. Trying is all I can do besides lighting church candles, tossing pennies into a fountain, and reading my own tea leaves.  Here are my unscientifically proven strategies:

Do:
1) Start writing your next novel.
2) Start writing your next novel.
3) Start writing your next novel.
4) Exercise every day.
5) Catch up with your friends and family.
6) Call your mother.
7) Connect with other writers.
8) Start writing your next novel.
9) Think positive thoughts.
10) Start writing your next novel.

Don't:
1) Eat a jumbo bag of chocolate-covered espresso beans. Or two.
2) Check email excessively, to the point where you develop carpal tunnel.
3) Pour over the Publishers Marketplace deal listings, wishing you'd see your name on the page.
4) Sleep late.
5) Feel sorry for yourself.
6) Compare yourself to other writers, both published and unpublished.
7) Snap at your spouse, sister, brother, partner.
8) Never snap at your mom. Remember: She loves all your stories, even the bad ones.
9) Annoy your agent with daily emails.
10)Believe that you're the only writer who's ever had to wait.

I can't promise that any of these will work but it's a start. What do you do to keep from losing your mind?

15 comments:

Taryn Kincaid said...

Heh. I'm convinced I may have lost my mind all ready!

Lately, the main item I am following on your list is #7!

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

Oh my word, I was laughing at the lists! True and yet so funny!

When is the appropriate time to followup with whoever has your MS? That's the part that kills me. If I had a deadline or date to put on my calendar/list, i'd be happy!

Great post and so applicable for me, thanks!

Tara said...

You are totally wrong. You're *not* the most impatient person in the world. Trust me ;-)

Great lists!

Georgina Dollface said...

Oh, I'm so impatient too! It's a hard habit to break, but I'm working on it. My coping strategies are like yours, I try to get started on a new project. I've also had to practice walking away from mobile devices when I am waiting on an answer for something. It's just too easy to obsessively check e-mail and voice-mail these days. - G

Sherri said...

LOL, sad but true, and I haven't even had to play the waiting game yet! Love your lists.

Pk Hrezo said...

I love it. Sagely advice. ANd seriously, the best thing you can do is start a new project. It's amazing what it can do. :)

Carol Riggs said...

Ha, this is GREAT. Yes, I usually dive into another writing project to keep my mind and self occupied. Then time doesn't seem to drag by as slowly. :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Ha ha! These are great lists! We ought to have lists for the people on the other side, though. The worst offenders, I find, are people who aren't writers or involved in the world of writing. You know... When you send your novel to your sister and she doesn't get back to you for days...
Those people [g]

Liz Fichera said...

Ladies, I figure there's no sense in getting all psycho about it (easier said than done). Might as well have a few laughs along the way, yes?

Danette said...

It's not fun to wait, is it? But there's nothing for it but to buckle down. Frankly I don't know why you put this at "1) Eat a jumbo bag of chocolate-covered espresso beans. Or two on the don't do list..." eating chocolate may be the only way to survive! :)

Angelina Rain said...

I hope you get good news on your submission. A few weeks ago I submitted a short story to my publisher and I had to wait almost a full week to see a response. My husband thought I was going insane as every two minutes I would check my e-mail, complain that maybe the e-mail was mis-delivered, or assume that maybe this query letter didn’t catch their attention. However, a week later when I got the “We want to give you a contract” email, I nearly died happy.

Nas Dean said...

The "Do's" are all good but how not to do the "Don'ts?"

Margo Kelly said...

BWHAHAHAHA. Love it. I should practice it ... maybe tomorrow. But, I love it. THANKS!

Marianne Arkins said...

I think eating a jumbo bag of chocolate should be allowed. Just saying ...

Theresa Milstein said...

I like both your lists. I'm working on not feeling sorry for myself from time to time.

Nice to meet a fellow crusader!