Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writers Wednesday : Slushing Through

Where The Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke slinks in late to talk about...waiting.


Patience is not a virtue I possess. I hate the 'hurry up and wait' mentality. Standing in line is so not my bag. In fact, when I Costco with Hubba Bubba, I have him stand in line while I wander. Clinically, I can totally pin this on ADD. And yet, I chose a career where waiting is part of the job description.

We wait for time to write. We wait to hear back from critique partners. We wait to hear about contests. We submit to editors and agents and, you guessed it, wait. We wait on contract details. We wait on revision notes. We wait on copy edits, final line see where I'm going with this?

The easiest and smartest way to get through the waiting is to write something else. Seriously, it can keep you sane, or at least as sane as you were before sending your beloved manuscript into internet abyss. Really.

Cleaning helps too. I mean, it can help get you writing because you'd rather write than clean. But also, a writer's space can get pretty windblown while mid-project. The act of clearing and organizing can soothe the mind.

And I think for anyone coming across this post, reading is likely your favorite thing to do. It can remove your mind from waiting space and transport you to private islands, a desert oasis, or small town coziness. Whatever you need to shore up your reserves. If you want to be truly business-like about it, read something edited by the editor you queried, or represented by the agent you submitted to. Aha, that's why I love this job. Reading fabulous books is required!

Now I'm going to just come out and say it. Exercise. (Ducks the flying tomatoes, celery, and half-used containers of Slim-Fast.) I know, who wants to be a gym rat when you can be working by lying on a chaise, reading about sexy sheiks? But, it does clear your head. All that increased oxygen and blood flow does wonders for creativity. I'm not saying you have to watch the seconds and you trudge along on the treadmill, you can have fun with it. I Zumba and Cardio Jam (hip-hop Zumba). The Pink Heart Society editor Donna Alward does P90-x workouts. The Pink Heart Society founder Trish Wylie chases horses around her fields. (HA!)

We call this slushing through for a reason. We don't sprint through the process. That would be such a sweet deal, but it only happens enough for it to be mythical. No revisions? Same year release date? The agent called you the day you submitted? Every trudging step of the way, we earn our right to be authors. And that includes the waiting.

Who's waiting on a submission? It seems I have partials everywhere!

Jenna's waiting for edits, waiting to hear back on a new story, and finishing the road trip book right now. Until it's ready, be sure to check out her latest. Private Scandal is ripe with secrets, sass, and sensational sex. Keep up with Jenna's spin on things on her website & blog

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