Winding Down from #PitchWars (Or, “What to do While We Wait”)

Currently listening to: Counting Stars, by OneRebuplic

If you’re like me, you submitted your entry to #PItchWars a few days ago, and you’re anxiously waiting for the mentors to make (and reveal) their mentee picks.

Also if you’re like me, you’ve been looking for ways to distract yourself. Because seriously, this is some stressful business. Why did we even enter to begin with? Well, because we’re writers and we have a manuscript we want the world to see, and we’re eager to take whatever opportunities we can to try to make that happen. But leading up to the submission deadline, and in the days following it, it’s been a huge bundle of stress. Waiting sucks. Waiting for responses on query letters to agents, waiting for the Pitch Wars mentor picks, waiting, waiting waiting.

I have never been a patient person. Lacking that particular virtue means that anything involving my manuscript is basically hell, and that hell is just wearing a different pair of high heels depending on exactly what I’m waiting on. So I’ve spent a lot of time thinking of ways to distract myself when I have to wait for things. Might help a few fellow stressed-out potential-mentees.

  1. Write more. Seriously, I always have between 2 and 6 works-in-progress. This is because I get a lot of ideas at random and don’t like to let go of them, and because I have a nasty tendency toward writer’s block. When I get blocked on one project, I need to have another project I can jump over to. I’ve never had a day go by when I can’t think of anything to write at all, even though I’ve had entire weeks go by when I couldn’t figure out what to do for a single, specific project. Writing anything at all helps keep me sane during the waiting. Right at this moment, I have four WIPs open on my laptop. Two are related to the MS I entered to Pitch Wars, playing around more in the world I created for that story, and the other two are connected WIPs–a story and its sequel. I’ve written quite a bit on all of them, today. Lots of inspiration flowing, and I think it’s because my current options are either that, or go completely mad wondering about Pitch Wars.
  2. Listen to music. I’m one of those people who basically subsists off music. I can’t even get my makeup on in the mornings without slipping my headphones in at some point, let alone get to work. I mean, I can, but God help anyone who interacts with me before I’ve listened to some music. I’m basically a zombie, but angrier. Music also doubles as a wonderful distraction. Any time I don’t want to think about something, in go the headphones.
  3. Find a new series to marathon on Netflix. Or rewatch one. I’ve made it through Lost Girl, and Sherlock again so far.
  4. Stalk the #PitchWars feed on Twitter. Or, alternately, stalk the mentor feed. But do this sparingly, because it will seriously drive you batty. Every time one of your mentor picks says something about an entry, you’ll wonder if it’s yours. Or you’ll know it’s not yours, and wonder if they read yours, if they liked it, if they hated it…And God help you if you see one of your mentors talking about having found “the one”, or having their picks narrowed down. You’ll either get ridiculously hopeful, daring to dream that it’s you, or you’ll spiral into disappointment, fearing that it’s not.
  5. Read. Go find a new book or an old favorite and dive in. Don’t think about any of your writing, and just enjoy someone else’s display of skill for a while.
  6. Watch a movie (like a movie based on a book!)

Good luck to all my fellow Pitch Wars contestants! We still have about a week and a half to wait for the official mentee announcements, I believe, so try not to go too crazy!



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