Most writers have a plan for waiting. Send it and Forget it is my motto for submissions. Rejections sting less when you are submerged in your next project. The correct response to a rejection is mailing another round of query letters (to different agents, of course!) Keeping busy is the easiest way to avoid the yo-yo emotions that plague most writers.
But every once in a while, an opportunity comes by that’s so big it defeats even your best waiting strategies. Last week was one of those times. On Tuesday, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA) announced quarterfinalists. Thursday, RWA announced the Golden Heart finalists. Since I strongly believe in taking advantage of every opportunity, I had horses in both those races.
Both days, I started with a survival plan:
- Log in editing hours for Nanoedmo.
- Catch up with my critique partners’ work.
- Clean my much-neglected house
- Run all those frequently-postponed errands.
- Bike the river.
Any one of those things would have occupied the greater part of the day. But it was one of those miserable weeks where wind, snow, and rain intermingle, to make you dread stepping outside for even one minute. Stuck in the house, I couldn’t seem to focus on anything for more than ten minutes.
My waiting strategy failed. Miserably.
By 10 AM, I was glued to my computer, unable to concentrate on anything other than hitting the refresh bar and emailing my fellow contestants for updates. In the end, I wasted two days waiting for results that would have come anyway. I could have written ten pages. I could have edited another chapter.
Tomorrow, the Sourcebooks Teen Fire contest will announce its finalists. I am determined not to waste another day hitting the refresh button. And yet I know I will be tempted to spend the entire day staring at one web page.
Please help me out by sharing your best waiting strategies in the comments section. How did you wait out the big ABNA and Golden Heart announcements? Is anyone besides me waiting on the Teen Fire results?