Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Writing and Waiting

One other crucial part of a writing partner, group or writing alone is the waiting. I don't know about you, but the waiting kills me. Slowly. Painfully. Kills. Me.

Waiting for critiques to return, waiting to finish the stupid *&#@ thing in the first place, waiting to wait some more while you query agents. Then, I hear, there is more waiting.

I'm learning, slowly, to take advantage of all the waiting. While my nano novel rested (after first being a rebel and thinking I could jump straight into edits. ha. ha.) I started a new project. You know that incredible high of knowing you can actually write a novel, so why not write a ton more? Uhm. No answer. When that novel got to a point of needing to rest before I could finish it (I don't think I'll finish it, actually.) I started on the editing/revising process of my nano project. But, in between those times when revision seems too overwhelming or it's out on critique chopping blocks, what do I really do that is helpful in the waiting process?

Journal: Remember that freedom of writing without any purpose other than to express your soul. No fragments, past and present tense mixes fine and the POV is always first and always sounds great. Because it's you. And you might discover something new about yourself. Something that may have snuck in while you've been in stories having torrid affairs with main characters and punctuation marks.

Make a Plan: There's nothing like the written word, right? We love it. So, use it. Write the title of your novel at the top of a sheet of paper. Write down things about it that come to you. What does it mean to you? Now write out your process. Will you re-write before any other eyes see? Will you go ahead and send it to the critique partners and then re-write, edit and send it back? Do you even have other eyes to look at your work? Write it all out, all the way to querying agents/or self-publishing/or small press publishers.

Smell the Flowers: Yes, there is life out there and it's waiting to see you. It's your inspiration, don't let the worry and doubt monsters keep you buried in frozen foods and ice cream.

Read: Read for enjoyment. DO NOT COMPARE your WIP to the brilliant romance/thriller/YA/Paranormal/Inspirational novel you are reading. Let go of your writing for a moment. Just long enough to show your support to a fellow author by reading their book. Simply escape into it. Do not analyze. That is for later. are waiting.

Learn Something New: Whether it be about writing or something else. Learning is stimulating your brain and the waiting...well it only sucks your brain dry. Trust me.

And when all else fails....have you seen the new app on Facebook?! :0)
What do you do to keep the dreaded wait more bearable?


  1. My crit buddies and I don't do the entire ms at once. We work on 2 or 3 chapters at a time. It's more workable for us -- and it cuts down on the waiting :)

  2. Oh the waiting. Waiting has turned me into an obsessive compulsive. I obsessively check my e-mail for replies from editors and feedback from critique partners, obsessively read over my's not pretty, really!

    Sometimes I get creative and try to work on learning more about writing while I am waiting. I just started an online course on the picture book and that is really helping to keep me busy. But I still check my e-mail way more often than a normal person. LOL.

    I think I need to take up meditation....

  3. Ah, the lag time, right now, I don't have any. LOL And I don't know if that's a good thing. I was experiencing the lag and wait time with my YA fantasy in the fall, but with my new writing goals, I have such a stack of things to write and rewrite. Plus, I just started critiquing through two of my RWA chapters and agreed to be a preliminary judge for the Golden Heart (RWAs unpubed huge contest) - what was I thinking? :-) It does keep your mind off of any submissions you might have out in the ether.

  4. I am absolutely convinced that patience is the number virtue any writer has to have. Like I've said before, I hate waiting.

  5. I signed up for an online writing class with MediaBistro. It got me excited about some of the ideas I had and hopefully it will help me wrestle them into submission :)

  6. Jemi: We do thirty pages each round. Sometimes a week can seem like forever though. LOL

    Erin: I check my email way too much too. Especially since I'm at home most often! :) Congrats on your online course. Good for you!

    Angelia: My goodness, you did get yourself booked, didn't you? If anyone can do it you can :)

    Patti: Ah, yes...those words were uttered to me as a teen I don't know how many times. Now my own kids hate it when I tell them patience is a virtue. :)

    Sherrie: Good Going!! That's awesome and make sure you submit!

  7. I do many of the same things as you. Waiting isn't fun, but it is part of the process.

  8. These posts about writing are all so helpful and inspiring! Thanks for doing them!

  9. I continue to work on my story. And I beta read. It helps me in my critiquing skills and that is good for my story, because I catch a lot of things I wouldn't normally if I didn't crit so much. :-)

  10. Excellent list Kristi! In my crit group, we post chapters as we need them critiqued and add them to a database. When we have time, we check to see who needs a critique and grab their chapter. It's very relaxed, but works for us. As for the waiting, I try to keep busy: finishing my WIP, checking blogs, cleaning, taking care of the kids.

  11. Enjoyed your post on the waiting. It's encouraging to hear from other writers farther along than me, just to know that some of us do reach the other end of the road eventually!


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