Killing Time in the Trenches

I’ve got many friends still in the query trenches, experiencing the roller coaster. There are a lot of ups and downs. There’s also a TON of waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

When he started querying, he still had hair.

So now, I offer a list of ways to keep from going crazy while waiting for news.

  1. Make a to scale Lego model of Hogwarts.
  2. Teach yourself a new language. Read Harry Potter in that language.
  3. Start a blog about the differences.
  4. Watch every episode of Doctor Who (old and new). There are a lot of them. 
  5. Blog about your Doctor Who-watching experience. Pick something – maybe you want to detail the foods you ate while watching the show, or make up a special drinking game. As long as it’s time consuming, go with it.
  6. Knit yourself a sweater. Sure, it’s spring (sort of), but you’ve got a long wait ahead of you. Don’t know how to knit? Perfect! What better time to learn?
  7. Get a pet. I could watch my cats run around in circles for hours. And dogs need to be walked a couple of times a day.
  8. Fall down the rabbit hole of the internet. Read up on all the old stories at the Urban Legends website to determine which are fact or fiction.
  9. Finally beat 2048/Candy Crush/whatever new game is out there.
  10. Offer to beta read for a friend. Having something else to focus on is hugely important.
  11. Vent online. The writer’s community on Twitter is amazingly supportive. Just be careful what you say and the level of detail you give.
  12. Read the entire works of William Shakespeare. 
  13. Download the classics – most of them can be found free on Project Gutenberg. You can also put them on a tablet, phone, or computer via Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
  14. Do a full back-up of your hard drive. Or maybe two. Just in case.
  15. Get a part-time job. No seriously. When I was querying, I thought about applying at Taco Bell.
  16. Learn the lyrics to that really fast song from Hairspray.
  17. Take up yoga. Seriously, you probably need it.
  18. Create a blog and make crazy long lists for no reason.
  19. Watch every episode of every Star Trek. There are like a zillion. If you still haven’t heard back, it could be the apocalypse.
  20. Start your next project. That way, when the agent calls and says, “What else are you working on?,” you’ll have a coherent answer.
Most importantly, take care of yourself. Hitting refresh constantly won’t make the answer come any sooner. It’ll just make the waiting more unbearable. So, take a break, walk away from the computer, and relax. 
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