Wednesday, August 6, 2008

13 Things To Take Your Mind Off Submissions

I have some feelers extended into the sea of writerly opportunity. Nine, to be exact. I’ve decided nine will be my magic number. I will always have nine feelers out there, working for me while I continue to write. They can be queries, submissions, contests, whatever. I just have to keep nine going. If one comes back, I toss another one out there. Simple, right? But I have this horrible habit of fixating on said feelers, and not getting anything done. That simply will NOT work. So, here are 13 things I’ve done to take my mind off of my pending flood of rejection letters enough that I at least feel productive while I wait.

Thirteen Things To Take Your Mind Off Submissions

1. Pick up another WIP. This is the ultimate BEST thing to do in this case. I have set myself up with a daunting quota of 10K words/week and bi-weekly check-ins with a crit partner. I just have to pretend those other stories I’m trying to sell do not exist. It works. Mostly.

2. Chatting, blogging, and now TWITTERING with friends. It’s a hoot.

3. Baking. I don’t know why, but when I get stressed, I cook more. I’ve kept my work well-supplied with cookies and muffins the past few weeks.

4. Actually getting work done. I threw myself at my job for a week. The fact that I now have nothing to do is testament to just how much I should be writing instead of wasting my time there, but c’est la vie. At least I’m caught up.

5. Re-organizing files on computer and backing everything up. I don’t know about you, but when I’m heavy in draft mode, I get sloppy – like, my desktop is invisible sloppy. A lull in your ‘writing press’ is the perfect time to go over everything, file it away neatly, and catalog it so it’s ready to work with at the next phase, whatever that may be.

6. Cleaning desk, filing and re-ordering office. I’ve talked about the importance of having a writing space. I find ‘padding the nest’ while I wait is a comfort, and also feeds into #1.

7. Shopping for mancandy and other inspirational pics. Just file under ‘research’. Heh.


See? What submissions?

8. Reviving an old manuscript. Sometimes I get too stuck in edit/prep mode after sending out subs and queries and I simply cannot find the creative gusto. So, I channel that self-depreciating energy into something useful. We all have that old piece gathering dust in the back of a drawer (or computer file) somewhere. Now’s the perfect time to go back over it, and have it ready to be the next ‘feeler’ if needs be.

9. Reading. When all else fails, read. It always, ALWAYS works for me. Reading reminds me of why I love writing so much in the first place. It gets me excited about stories, characters, and scenarios, also feeding #1.

10. Take a break and do something fun. I often neglect other parts of my life when I have my head down and fingers to keyboard. But every once in a while, you gotta push away from the desk and step away from the computer. It’s summer, it’s lovely outside. I’ve been going to the park with my hubby to play Frisbee. Does wonders.

11. Write something fun, just cuz. When I first started writing, it was merely for the pleasure of it. Sometimes I have to shelf even that daunting WIP and write something off the wall, on a whim, to remind myself of WHY I am putting myself through all this trudgery.

12. Find someone else to root for. This is why it’s so important to have a network of friends who are also writers. We inspire each other, console each other, understand each other. Whenever I’m feeling particularly nerve-wracked or over-stressed about the ‘feelers’, I take a step back and focus on someone else – cheering them on or giving them a boost. Makes me feel better, and spreads the love. Two birds with one stone.

13. When all else fails? Cybercrack. Like this. Or this. Or this.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Leave a comment, and I'll link back to you here:


Eden Hail said...

Great 13, babe!

Gwen Mitchell said...

Thank ya, little lady! ;)

Heather said...

Great list, Gwen! I hope you get a few nibbles on all the projects you have out there.

And in response to about a trip to the zoo? *g*

Gwen Mitchell said...

The Zoo *totally* counts!

Alice Audrey said...

I really need to get some feelers out there too.

Exceptionally fine intermission, BTW.

Stephanie Sullivan said...

Pardon me while I droooooool. I think my brain turned to mush at intermission. LOL! Great list!

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Okay, the cowboy threw me off track. What was the question?

Janice said...

Hi Gwen,

That is a good list, and I laughed at the cute kitty pics too.

Happy TT.


Nicholas said...

My hat is off to you! I can't even think about another WIP until I have finished the current one.

Byz. said...

5, 6, & 7 appeal to me...a lot! Very NICE TT. :)