So, it’s been about 15 minutes since I submitted queries and chapters for my first novel, Life in the ‘Cosm. OK, it’s been just under a month. Now comes the gap when I wait for rejection or acceptance of my writing. Is it just me, or is this waiting thing hard?
The logical part of my brain understands that this is par for the course, and I have another book to work on, so I can occupy my time with more writing. The highly emotional part of my brain causes me to stop writing second my book and asks, “Am I published yet? No? Oh, OK.” A day passes, I write more words, stop, and then ask myself, “Do I haz publisher yet?” (The emotional side of my brain talks like a lolz cat sometimes.)
What I need is distraction. Non-authory type of activities, but something different.
Here are some of the ways I cope while waiting for people in the publishing industry to like me. You might want to try these, too.
1. Do arts and crafts
I have a craft biz called Cait Cards, where I make jewellery and cards. It’s kinda fun. I’m selling at a craft show in November.
Sometimes being creative in ways other than words refreshes your mind. At least it does for me. Working with shape and texture and colour takes me to a different place, and I get really involved with the process. Not once when I’m crafting do I worry about where I am with my writing. It’s as diverting as a vacation.
2. Do cosplay
Oh my word, how much fun is cosplay? I admit I lost my cosplay virginity this fall. My hubster, some friends, and I are going to a popexpo in town and we all decided to be characters from Doctor Who. After looking at endless pre-made costumes, I decided to make my own.
I wanted to be a dalek, but not just any dalek. I tapped into my Montreal fashionista judgmental side and thought I’d be a fashionista dalek. I don’t exterminate people—only shoes that are “so two years ago.”
Again, making a costume is another way to unleash creative juices in a non-wordsmithy way. Plus, there’s something cathartic about not caring at all what other people think about you. Looking like a fool is one of my favourite pastimes. Own it, baby!
3. Do fooding
You might want to temper this step with some regular exercise (and always listen to your doc’s advice), but in moderation it’s nice to try new things.
If you’re not skilled in the kitchen, then take a partner or a friend out to a new restaurant. There’s nothing like good company and delicious food to take your mind off things. Also, you’re filling your brain with happy memories. That can’t be bad.
Gosh, I love eating. I mean, isn’t eating wonderful? *wistful sigh*
4. Do someone you love
Uh, ahem, oops. *blush*
Never mind. Carry on. Nothing to see here.
(This step can also be combined with after-loving food eating. Just sayin’.)
5. Do the hustle!
Anyone who now has an earworm, congratulations. You’re as old as I am or older.
But why not get out and dance, or enjoy good music? I’m forever wearing my Bluetooth headphones and singing on top of my lungs—even when I’m doing housework. I also play drums and bass guitar. Music can really feed your soul and transport you to another place.
Head to a concert, or a cafe where musicians are at. Boogie at a dance club, or in your living room. Get out that acoustic guitar you can only play three chords on, because let’s face it, some of the best songs only have three chords!
You can lose yourself for hours in music, whether alone or jamming with friends. Also another creative outlet!
Above all, just be patient. That’s what I hear from professional writers and it makes sense. Whatever you do as an escape, let it be a fun distraction from routine. Because “waiting by the phone” is draining to the psyche. Might as well pat yourself on the back for the fact that you’ve gotten this far, and accept it takes a little time to get recognized. Writing a complete manuscript is not a step everyone achieves, so way to go, you!
Best of luck to you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been on #3 of this article today. My blueberry-coconut cream cake awaits.
Cait Gordon has been a senior technical writer for high tech and government organizations. Her first novel is being sent to the universe. She hopes the universe likes it.