Playing the Waiting Game

[FYI: Beth and I switched days this week. Look for her post tomorrow.]

If you don’t already know, I hate to be the one to tell you that realizing the dream of becoming a published author involves lots of waiting. There are various stages of waiting that I won’t go into here, but I have a sneaking suspicion that regardless of the stage you’re in, the waiting never gets much easier.

Which is why I’ve compiled a list of distractions to choose from when you’re ready for a break from obsessing over whatever it is you’re currently waiting for.
  1.  Think of a brilliant idea for your next project.
  2.  Work on your next project.
Everyone knows you’re supposed to be doing #1 & #2, right? 
Okay, let’s assume you might occasionally need a break from #1 or #2. You’ve got options ranging from potentially useful expenditures of your time to things you will be tempted to do but should avoid.

If You Insist On Continuing to Obsess Over Your Book: 

  1. Draft the acknowledgements page for your eventually-to-be published book.
  2. Write your Newbery/Printz/National Book Award acceptance speech.

If You Prefer to Focus on Books in General:

  1. Find a new series or trilogy to fall in love with and binge-read the whole thing. One of my recent favorites: Rae Carson’s The Fire and Thorns Trilogy
  2. Check out/download an audiobook from your local library. Anything narrated by Jim Dale is pretty much guaranteed to be awesome.
  3. Get to know some of your peers by listening to author podcasts. Authors On Tour-Live!  and Meet the Author are two options to try. 
  4. Create a “Books to Read” board on Pinterest, or find a character like my friend Quinoa to follow. 
  5. Rearrange your book collection alphabetically, or by color, or genre, or number of pages, or whatever suits your fancy.

If You’re Ready to Think About Something Besides Books:

  1. Learn a new hobby. Try mastering the Rainbow Loom! Start with a Single Chain Bracelet and work your way up to an Advanced Level Twistzy Wistzy bracelet. 
  2. Finish all of the half-finished craft projects you started the last time you were trying to distract yourself.
  3. Begin cooking your way through an entire cookbook. One with 365 options to try: Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day Cookbook
  4. Subscribe to Netflix and catch up on your pop culture by binge-watching Dr. Who, Downton Abbey, Sherlock, etc.
  5. Become addicted to a game/app. Regency Love, anyone? 

If You Want to Be Altruistic:

  1. Surf Kickstarter and find a project to support so you can help someone else who’s waiting get that much closer to their own dream.
  2. Do something special for the person/people who is/are stuck dealing with you while you wait. Combine this with #3 above and make them a multi-course meal? 

If You’re Desperate:

  1. Buy a can of compressed air and clean the goobers out of your computer keyboard. 
  2. Convert all of your CDs to digital files.
  3. Go through your digital photo files, print your favorites and arrange them in a photo album.
  4. Prep your taxes.
  5. Create an elaborate Excel spreadsheet taking into account every possible element of the thing you're waiting for.
  6. Take lots of showers. Unless you’ve figured out a way to check your email while you’re in the shower, these can function as a safe haven from obsessive refreshing.

Have a day job? Do whatever it takes to stay distracted. Clean the break room microwave, memorize a list of MS Word keyboard shortcuts, accidentally set off the fire alarm (I AM KIDDING ABOUT THE FIRE ALARM. THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA. DO NOT DO THIS).

If you’re really having a hard time distracting yourself, try multi-tasking. Listen to an audiobook while creating a Twistzy Wistzy bracelet. Attempt to prepare high tea while watching Downton Abbey. You get the idea.

Things You Might Want to Avoid While Waiting:

  1. Listening to this Tom Petty song. Trust me, it’s an ear worm you don’t need right now.
  2. Cyber-stalking the person/people you’re waiting on. There’s no point because I can already tell you what they’re doing. They’re not putting you out of your waiting misery, that’s what they’re doing.
  3. Posting cryptic status updates/tweets/blog posts. If you’re not ready to go public with whatever it is you’re waiting for, don’t tease people. It’s annoying.

So, what am I currently waiting for? I wish I could tell you but you’re going to have to wait. Oops, I think I just violated #3.

Now that we’re in this together, I hope some of the above work for you, if not, I hope you’ll share how you pass the time while playing the waiting game!


Oh, funny!!! So much to love, both silly and sensible. Thank you!

I think I need to go and get myself a Rainbow Loom...

And you're right, no matter what stage you're in, the waiting never gets easier!

Awesome ideas! I'm not waiting for anything, but I'm reading the Fire and Thorns trilogy, too. Great stuff!

Great post, Kristen! I'll be waiting to hear good news from you soon!

I've been avoiding the digital photo-to-print challenge for like...ever.

That's me, silly and sensible :).

Luckily my daughter got a loom for Xmas, so I'm all set!
I was hoping I was wrong about the easier part :/.

Just you wait, you'll be waiting in no, yeah.

Thanks, Susan! Any day now!

Me too, my friend. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

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