Waiting stinks, and it seems like there’s a lot of waiting in publishing. Sometimes, it really does seem like you’re moving from a period of waiting to a new period of waiting. Be it emails, submissions, conferences, submissions, reviews, submissions, covers, submissions, the pain is real.
If you’ve been there (or heck, if you’re there now), here are some productive things you can do to help pass the time:
1. Start writing something new.
Trust me, it helps. Nothing gets your mind off the last book like a new book. Even if you don’t get very far in it, or you’re writing it for fun, or you think it will never go anywhere — that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re writing a new thing.
2. Binge read.
You know you have a tower of TBR books. You know it makes you feel guilty. Why not read a few of them? And read them now, because once the waiting is over and you have to do more stuff to get to your next period of waiting, you won’t have as much time to read. So read now.
3. Clean your house.
Maybe you’re tidier than me, or you have a housekeeper, or whatever. Maybe your house isn’t that bad. But if you are like me, when you’re deep in writing, sometimes the dusting gets . . . neglected. And the mopping. And the mysterious stuff that gets on walls. (I actually trained my husband to take care of the chores I don’t like, so this is less of an issue than it used to be.) Anyway, now is probably a good time to clean that. And bonus, if you’re someone who works better in a tidy space (I am!), then you’re going to feel really good for about five minutes — before it becomes a disaster again.
We writers sit too much, and there’s a lot of chatter about how bad sitting is for you. Before you’re chained to your desk on a deadline, maybe get up and move around a little?
5. Clean out your inbox.
Sorry. I had to add it. I know some of you are crying now.
6. Get your taxes stuff in order.
Now I see outright sobbing. I’m sorry. I’m sobbing too. (Today’s the deadline for 4th quarter estimated taxes, in case you were wondering.) This part is a nightmare.
7. Revise an old story.
In general, I always suggest moving forward than looking backward. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t older projects that could be reworked. If you’re trying not to work on something new yet, why not take a look at something old? At the very least, you’ll see how far you’ve come!
8. Take a nap.
Really. You’ve earned one.
So! What else do you guys do when you’re faced with The Waits?