This will totally date me and maybe brand me as a nerd, but I have an old...(gulp) Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood song running through my head. (Did I mention I have four kids.)
"Let's think of something to do while we're waiting. While we're waiting for something new to do."
Maybe I have this song stuck in my head because my manuscript is on submission and, once again, I find myself playing the waiting game.
There are many different points in a writer's journey when all you can do is wait. Waiting to hear from your critique partners, waiting to hear from the agents you've queried, waiting to hear from publishers when your manuscript is on submission, waiting for the next round of revision notes--waiting, waiting, waiting.
It can be a very helpless feeling, but it doesn't have to be.
As I wait, I've been wondering what productive things a writer can do while they're waiting. For me it's been cleaning out closets. It's almost like the nesting thing I did when I was pregnant. Cleaning out closets may be productive for me and for my house, but it isn't necessarily productive for my writing--other than I have a great action-adventure story in the works about a woman who gets lost in her closet due to WAY too much stuff. (Has that already been done?)
So what can a writer do to be productive during the waiting game? (Obsessively checking e-mail while consuming an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream doesn't count.)
The first and obvious answer is write. Write more. Write often. Write well. (Same answer to most questions about what a writer should be doing.)
But sometimes when you've poured you heart and soul into something and lived through the revisions, (yes many revisions), necessary before it's ready to send out, you need a breather.
Being productive while you wait might mean reading. It might mean networking, blogging, commenting on blogs, researching additional agents and editors to so you're ready with the next query if you do get a rejection.
It's all about moving forward.
With the explosion of the Internet there are more ways than ever before to stay productive while you're waiting. (No, I don't mean a harvesting a bumper blueberry crop on Farmville or stalking your ex-boyfriend on Twitter.)
A friend of mine, Jenny Reynolds, introduced me to Smories.com, a charming, (because it's British) website that features stories read out loud by kids. As a mom, I like to visit Smories because it's a fun place to visit with my kids to hear new stories and because the kids that read them have the cutest British accents.
Instead of sitting around waiting, Jenny submitted her story, EASTER GIRAFFE to the Smories website. It was accepted as one of the new September stories. (Yay Jenny!) She's building credentials, fans, and most importantly her work is being enjoyed by children. (And really isn't that the reason we write?) Check out Jenny's story and her Working on Words website.
Smories is a fun idea and a great thing to do while you're waiting, and I'm sure it's not the only site like that out there.
So I was wondering...
What do you do while you're waiting? How can an author be productive (and stay sane) during a waiting period? AND are there other websites like Smories out there?
Oh, and does anyone know if Mr. Rogers' songs are available on iTunes?