If there’s one thing writers know about, it’s waiting. Waiting on feedback from critique partners, waiting on submissions to agents and editors, and even waiting for a book to come out. So today I thought I’d post about ten constructive things you can do while you’re waiting.
1. Relax – That’s right, take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments, and enjoy a piece of chocolate (or whatever your reward of choice is). Then…
2. Network – You should probably be doing this already, but if not, get active on social media, start up a blog or a website (or both), go to author events, conferences, meet-ups, leave comments on the blogs you follow, make friends, do guest posts on other people’s blogs, participate in list-serves, etc. Basically, get yourself out there (in person and/or virtually).
3. Read, read, read – Books in your genre/age category, books not in your genre/category. Keep an eye on what’s getting published today. If something really pulls you in, step back and figure out why it works and how the author did it.
4. Refill the creative well – Get out and get inspired. Head to a museum, or take a walk in nature. Or stay in and get inspired. Watch an awesome tv show or movie. Whatever gets your creative juices flowing.
5. Get creative – Not in the mood for writing? Do something else creative. Draw, sketch, sing, dance, bake fun cakes…
6. Seek out inspiration – Writing for kids? Spend the day playing with yours, or offer to babysit a friend’s. You might be surprised by how many ideas they give you.
7. Do something your character would do – Let’s face it, whether you’re on submission with an agent or an editor, chances are there’s more revision ahead of you. Why not jump into one of your character’s skins? Does your MC love to Cosplay? Make yourself a kickin’ costume and head out to the nearest comic convention. Did you create a fabulous new food for your fantasy world? See if you can make it in real life.
8. Critique other people’s work – Critiquing is a great way to learn. Even if you don’t have work to put up for critique yourself, volunteer to critique or beta read for a friend. Or find a book you like and review it on Amazon or Goodreads (after all, with any luck you’ll be looking for people to do the same in a few years…)
9. Plan the sequel – Start making an outline for what could/should/will happen in the next book. (I’d resist the urge to start writing, though, just in case Book 1 never makes it to print.)
10. Write something else – Start on a new book. That way, whether your current story succeeds or not, you have another to move forward with.
Hopefully I’ve given you some ideas to help while away the many hours of waiting a writer endures. How do you pass your waiting time? Let me know in the comments.