10 things to do while waiting to hear from an editor

I normally do lists with 5 things, hence why this post is categorised under “5 things”. Why 5? A list of 5 things is manageable, when you complete 3 things you’re already over half way, and 5 has always struck me as a solid number. A building block, you might call it.

Why then, if 5 is so great, is this a list of 10 things?

When you’re waiting to hear back from an editor it feels like time moves at a snails pace…worse, even. What’s slower than a snail? That’s how badly the hours seem to drag. The constant checking of your email, Twitter (just in case the editor your stalking following announces that they have a ‘special call’ to make), checking your phone for missed calls with London or New York numbers…

You need a list of more than 5 things because you need to be as busy as humanly possible to keep from going insane…or is that just me? Currently, I’m waiting to hear back on four projects: the revisions for my category romance, slush submissions for my novella, and two short stories submitted to anthologies. Trust me, the more things you can do to occupy yourself the better.

Your sanity will thank you.

The questionnaire

  1. Get working on SOMETHING ELSE – a new project is always a great distraction. Try planning out a new story or dust off something you’ve worked on previously.
  2. Keep Writing – this might seem like the same as point one, but writing doesn’t have to mean working on projects that you’ll  submit to an editor. I enjoy blogging (I actually started blogging about perfume recently, that’s another passion of mine), but you might want to dabble in a different medium like poetry, non fiction etc. Just keep those writerly muscles moving.
  3. Pick up a book you’ve been dying to read – I saved Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins for when I had finished my revisions. Getting lost in a good book is a great way to distract you from the dreaded wait.
  4. Reconnect with the people you neglected whilst retreating into your writing cave – remember those people whose faces filled your photographs…yeah? You should probably call them.
  5. Clean the house – I’m not joking, cleaning is a great distraction and if you’re anything like me this is one area that gets neglected when you’re on a deadline.
  6. Exercise – see point #6
  7. Get involved in the writing community – there are plenty of ways to do this, join a writer’s group, volunteer with your local writing organisation, find a critique partner or join a forum. If you’re going to wait, you may as well have company.
  8. Do SOMETHING ELSE – when you’re stuck in the writers cave it can feel all consuming. Take some time to do something other than writing or editing, for me it was getting back into yoga and watching YT videos (book hauls are surprisingly addictive).
  9. Support another author  – I believe in karma and giving back. There’s plenty of space for all of us in the writing world, so why not support an author you love by tweeting about their book, giving them a review on Amazon or Good Reads or writing to them and telling them how much you love their books.
  10. Prepare for The Call – nothing wrong with a little wishful thinking right? Have you got a website, a social media presence, any of the things you’d like to have in place when an editor calls and says those magical four words “we want your book”? Maybe it’s my inner girl scout, but I’d like to be prepared…just in case.


2 Responses to “10 things to do while waiting to hear from an editor”

  1. Katrina says:

    I’m actually new to writing and I feel that I’m having a little trouble putting it together my ideas and making them sound good.

    • Stefanie says:

      Hi Katrina, thanks for your comment. One of the things that really helped me early on was thinking about my favourite books. What was it about your favourite book that made you keep turning page after page? Understanding what goes into a good book can really help you to figure out how to work with your own ideas and improve your writing craft. Also, reading articles on writing and/or writing craft books really helped me too. Best of luck with your writing!

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