Thursday, July 23, 2009

Made of Wait

Dude, waiting is part of the process.

I know! Shut up! It's still hard!

Only because you need a distraction.

*snort* Sure, because all the blogs I've read, the Facebook updates, the hours of playing Bejeweled Blitz, and/or the multitude of Guitar Hero songs aren't distracting enough.

Hey, you tried cooking the other night...

Shut up! No one needs to know about that chicken! You know poultry hates me!

The ribs were good.

Crock pot. And you're not helping.

*sighs with loads of exasperation* Go read a book or something.

Read a book?! Read a book??!! That's your suggestion???!!!

I said 'or something'. And right now I could give you more specifics on what that something could be.

No thanks. Why don't you stop badgering me?

Why don't you enjoy the wait?




Yeah, I didn't even give you an intro. I just launched you right into the conversation I've been having with myself for days. Nay, weeks. (Did you like being inside my head? Did it freak you out? It's my brain, and I'm a little freaked out. sengihnampakgigi)

And I always end up at that question. I really hate my Rational Self sometimes. Really, really, really hate her.

But seriously. I'm suffering in the Publishing Waiting Room, and it's nowhere near as nice as that one. No, it's all white walls and bare light bulbs hanging from single wires.

I have the toolkit I blogged about a while ago. It's empty. Not working. What else have you guys got to help me through the waiting? How can I learn to enjoy the wait? Ideas? I'll take anything at this point.


Carrie Harris said...

Well, there are a lot of us in the publishing waiting room. We could play charades. I play some mean charades.

Yeah, I'm no help at all. Suffice to say that I feel your pain.

Stina said...

Run? It really works for me. In just two days of running (note: I wasn't running for the whole two days *wink*) I came up with the idea for a YA contemporary novel (I'm currently outlining it). A week later while running, another idea hit me based on a sequence of events that occur in my YA paranormal book I'm currently editing (well will be after finishing my other outline). The idea was for another YA contemporary novel.

I've also spent a lot of time while running (obviously I run on my own) deliberating my switch from YA paranormal to contemporary. It's the only chance I have for my inner dialogue. And it distracts me from . . . well . . . um . . . running.

So yes, running is great while dealing with the wait. :D

Unknown said...


A book. A poem. An essay. Enter contests for short stories. Write, write, write. (It's what I am doing and I think we are in the same life boat. Dingy? Kayak?)

Scott said...

Bejeweled Blitz is my downfall in this lifetime, that and Wii bowling. Top Score at Bejeweled = 199,600. My pesky sister in law hit 239,000. Yes, She, Did!!! Bowling = 215. My nephew hit 235 last night, just to prove he could beat me. He's no longer my favorite nephew!

Waiting is the worst, and nothing I do seems to distract me.

You did kind of freak me out with that insight into your mind. : )


Cole Gibsen said...

Girl, I'm right there with you. And I know exactly how long I have to wait. (I can't decide if that's better or worse because a month seems sooooooooooooo far away *sigh*.)
Anyway, to pass the time I've started sewing again. Love it. I found that working on a new project wasn't working for me because my MS Outlook is on my desktop and it's too hard not to compulsively hit the send/receive button every 5 seconds.

Jamie D. said...

I second Suzanne: Write!!

Just about everything I've ever read about writing says that once you submit a piece, the best thing you can possibly do next is to start writing the next thing. Don't make it about the wait, make it about the writing.

Try this - give yourself an assignment. Try to finish another entire draft (or several, if you're writing shorts) *before* you get a response on your query (or whatever it is you're waiting for). Instead of "waiting" for the response, "run towards" it by racing with it.

Could be worth a try, anyways - and then when you get "the call", you'll be able to say, "Well, I just finished this draft that you could look over when we've got this book sold..." :-)

Eric said...

Not to be an echo, but...yeah...


Since you're sitting around in the waiting room, you might as well get something done.

Yeah, not much help here. Sorry.

Aaron Polson said...

Yeah, here I go with "write". When I feel fed up with the waiting, I really get in a negative spiral-funk. I have to force myself to write, but once I feels good.

Elana Johnson said...

Carrie, as long as it's not Trivia Pursuit, I'm game. ;-)

Stina, I only run if there are large dogs behind me. So many writers run, though, so maybe I should give that a second thought. Uh...nah.

Would it help if I told you guys that I've written almost 3000 words in the past two days? Writing can only take me so far. Maybe I should edit something too? I've submitted short stories (well, flash fiction) to two publications/contests. I'm doing that, but it doesn't seem to be really helping with the waiting anxiety.

Cole, sewing! Dude, I'm impressed. There are some domestic skillz I don't have, and that's one of them.

Jamie, I do like the idea of an assignment. Maybe I'll set an editing goal along with my writing goal. That might help a bit.

Thanks guys!

lisa and laura said...

What about bad reality TV? There's plenty of that to tune into in the summer months. I think you just keep reading, keep watching movies, keep listening to music and eventually an idea will come out and grab you and you'll just have to write it. It took us a couple of months and approximately 25 packages of Twizzlers, but we've finally gotten there.

XiXi said...

I'm not at that stage yet. You make it sound so horrible. I mean, other than the obvious (write), I guess you could:

1) Cook.
2) Eat. A lot.
3) Watch FOUR HOURS of Phineas and Ferb (I mean...what?).
4) Shop.
5) Go berry-picking.
6) Knit a new wardrobe. Now that sounds like it would be socially acceptable.
7) Climb a tree.
8) Learn the art of flower-arranging.
9) Sleep.
10) Drive across the state of Illinois and learn how to appreciate corn (I have no idea where you live, and it would be kind of creepy if I did).

Yeah, I'm out of ideas. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

You could get in the car, drive 9 hours, visit a certain friend and help her beat the waiting blues, then the two of you could go around and drive to visit other waiting friends. Oh wait, our families might not like that. Oh well :D

Stina said...

But can you imagine the ideas you'll get while running away from the large dogs . . . and while you're waiting around in the ER after said dogs catch you. ;)

Contests? So now you're waiting some more to hear back from them. How depressing!

Hmmm. Too much waiting. You need another hobby. Have you tried sky diving? I bet some great ideas will come rushing to you as you hurtle toward the ground. :D

Lianne said...

Did somebody say "Bejeweled Blitz Tournament?" No? Oh...

Hmmm...we could all go on a hiking expedition in search of porcupine quills. I think that might be a whole novel, in and of (and in spite) of itself. :)

p.s. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am following you now, too.

Elana Johnson said...

Stina, you must know how slow I am. ROTFL! The time spent in the ER would be good stewage time...

Christine, I so would do that. If I didn't have a million other things tying me up at home. One day, my friend. One day.

Lianne, Bejeweled Blitz Tournament? You got me all excited there. And the porcupine quills...LOLOLOL.

Lisa and Laura, did you see Dating In The Dark? *hides* I actually thought it was intriguing and it made me sad when that girl left that guy on the balcony and he had to watch her walking away... So sad. Talk about the ultimate rejection. OUCH.

Icy Roses, great list! I am nowhere near Illinois, but I could drive across Utah and check out the, uh, sagebrush? Ha ha!

Cali MacKay said...

I just write. And check my email every 2 seconds. I hate waiting. Though I found that it does help if you have a general idea as to when you'll be hearing back.

Before I had signed with my agent, we were doing some edits on the first 50 pages, to see if we could work together. She told me it would take her 4 weeks to get back to me. And I found the waiting tolerable. Then she was nice enough, 2 weeks in, to let me know she'd get back to me within 2-3 weeks with her edits. Again, it was a huge relief to just have some contact and a time frame. I found it made all the difference in keeping me calm, and it also kept me from checking my email non-stop.

And I did write, so when she did get back to me, I was able to tell her I was 50 pages in to the sequel of the book she had just edited.

So, write, write, write. :)

Anonymous said...

I picture that waiting room not as empty, but filled with people, all with the same blank vacant stare, except for the newbies. They come in all excited, buzzing like bees, asking questions, thinking they'll get called next ...till like the rest of us, they fall victim to the drooling.


--Rearranging my furniture
--Organizing photographs that are already in albums but that's not the point
--Bejeweled Blitz and Farkle!
--Wii Fit...but who are we kidding?
--Blogging and Facebook
--Watching movie after movie after movie...then thinking how I could never write that well and those writers must have been child prodigies.
--Reading about how to write better
--Googling software programs that will surely make me write better
--Checking emails fervently
--thinking about taking up photography instead of writing
--and writing...because it happens whether I want to or not!!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Become a working mother like me. You'll be too busy juggling multiple projects all day, then running errands, picking up a toddler from daycare, trying to entertain him while cooking dinner, and then putting him to bed to even think about waiting. Or writing.

Eh, on second thought, being a "supermom" is overrated....

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

*snort* Notice I didn't even mention cleaning the house. The fun never end around here!

Angie said...

Honestly, the only thing that gets me through waiting is writing something else, and kind of forgetting about, or at least putting on the back burner, the one that I'm waiting to hear about. (So fun seeing you last night. Feel free to come over and wait at my house anytime! We have very distracting chickens. :p )

Jody Hedlund said...

I hear ya. Waiting is enormously difficult, even if we're trying to occupy ourselves with other things and still writing. A small corner of our minds is continually thinking about the wait. At least it is for me!

Unknown said...

I don't know that you'll ever enjoy the wait. I've found the trick is to get busy and super involved in the next project. Throw yourself into the next book. You'll still growl about waiting, but it won't be as bad. Good luck! I'm right there with you. You know that person gibbering in the corner covered by cobwebs? That's me. :)

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Elana, I laughed at your response to running! Too funny. But, hey, if you like, I'll sick my Tippy on you. SHe's a ton of lard, but still manages to scare everyone who comes near our property.

As for me, while in this waiting room, I work (write), worship (pray lots), and dream big. Better to dream up stories than waste time pondering how long the wait will be. Not easy, I know, but you aren't alone, girl!

J.R. Johansson said...

If you are already writing, but need more... hmm...

I like to read and exercise... sometimes at the same time.

*NOTE* for your own safety, do NOT stand behind my treadmill at the gym. You have been warned.


BJW said...

Start a new bad habit. I recommend gambling. Bug all your writing friends who haven't finished their wip. Hold it over their heads.

And of course, there's always movies. skip the boob tube, go to some matinees and drink incredible amounts of soda. Eat popcorn. Or rent a tv series like 24 or Lost that you have to watch seven seasons worth without commercials and that will take up eighteen solid hours a day for two weeks. Once you hear back from your publisher, you won't even know where those days went! Perfect. Or watch all three Godfather movies. Well, watch and enjoy the first two, snort and complain during the last awful one.

and if none of these work, take a bath. A nice long relaxing bath. Make sure you have snacks and drinks nearby. Bring a book. Pick a different sort than you usually read. Wait until your toes are so wrinkly you think they might not be toes anymore. Done.

Then again, who am i to give YOU advice. Oh yeah, I'm really good at screwing off.

Most importantly, be proud of yourself. Great job. Pat yourself on your back. You done good. : )

Danyelle L. said...

I'm at every different point of writing one can be at in multiple projects, have four incredibly hyper chipmunks, and I still find time to obsess over my email. >.<

Ryan S. Kinsgrove said...

I think I've found that the easiest way to get away from waiting is to get away from the computer. I like to write away from my connection to the internet, it keeps me from reading all sorts of blogs and other distractions. I also like to read, and I have a to read list about two miles long. Meditation and walking also helps. I have even taken to writing a blog to be able to keep away from waiting.

Here's my url if anybody is interested in taking a look:

Ryan S. Kinsgrove said...

I also talk about writing. A lot.

Unknown said...

It sounds to me like you need to curl up with a big stack of books and lock yourself away from your computer. Take a notebook (just in case an idea smack you in the face) and a bunch of books and just sit back and read. That way you're getting more acquainted with what's out and selling right now, you're enjoying yourself, AND you're getting the juices flowing for that next project.

Or you could just play tetris and bejewled. :) Or scrabble. I <3 scrabble.

jan said...

I'm going to be doing a post soon about the role of frustration in the writer's life. It's part of my 'how I got published story.'


Michelle D. Argyle said...

Aww, not much I can really do or say to help, except that you're further along than I am. I'm not even in the waiting room yet! But part of what will help me is the fear of being published. I know it comes with a lot more stress than I already have, so while I'd love to be published, I'm also not in too big of a hurry at this point in my life. Good luck and keep us posted! Enjoy the journey is all I can say. Find a nice person so talk to in that room. :)

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