Waiting

Rabbit - sitCan anyone honestly say they enjoy waiting? I don’t think humans are born with natural fountains of patience. Trouble is, this industry is full of opportunities to test a writer’s patience: waiting for a response to a submission, for replies from agents/editors, for contracts or rejections, for feedback or good news or pigs to start flying.  All this waiting leaves writers with plenty of time to wallow in their own self-doubt and insecurities. Or maybe that’s just me.  Anyway, instead of trying in vain to grow a patience organ, I think instead writers need to become masters of distraction.  Here are my top 6 forms of distraction:

  1. Get out of the house: coffee, a movie, and catching up with friends are all sure fire ways to keep my head from imploding
  2. Watch an old favourite: pull out a DVD that’s sure to make you laugh and cry, nothing too serious, but with a focus on escapism. My current top picks are Pride and Prejudice (BBC version), Mulan (Disney), 10 Things I Hate About You, and Empire Records … please don’t judge me
  3. Baking: my fiance knows that if he comes home to fresh scones, I’ve had a bad day. Baking makes me happy
  4. Gym: adrenalin is good. Running is my drug. Working out also helps to combat the negative side effects of distraction tip number 3…
  5. Taking my pup for a walk: fresh air combined with my puppy’s never ending well of joy in the small things always makes me smile. Also my dog park is full of lovely people who love to talk about dogs and don’t know about my writing, which equals distractions aplenty
  6. Blogging: a great way to feel connected, understood and heard. This is clearly my choice of distraction for the day!

These methods can only be used to overcome short term waiting periods (by which I mean a day or two). If short term waiting turns into long term waiting, then the above methods constitute procrastination. Unfortunately most waiting in this industry is long term, which can only really be battled by jumping into the next writing or illustrating project. No one has said it better than Stephen King: bum in seat, and write the damn book.

But I do allow myself a day or two of distraction. So, now that I’ve finished blogging I’m off to cook some scones. Anyone else have any good tips to share?

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8 Responses to “Waiting”


  1. 1 sherylgwyther May 29, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Words of wisdom, Kath! And I really think the only way to get away from those feelings of waiting and waiting and waiting and getting nowhere fast is to start another project – one that has been sitting in a folder in the guise of a photo or an image torn from the paper, or something that slipped from a dream.
    It makes it so much easier to get back on track again.
    But I’m all for scone making AND for calling up one’s friends to bring the jam and whipped cream when they come to share them! haha :)

  2. 2 Karen Tyrrell May 29, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Katherine, Thanx for this Blog. That’s something I need to learn … PATIENCE.
    Today after checking my emails upteen times for an answer, I turned off the computer and read a book … Ahh! Reading! Do I love reading!

  3. 3 Katherine Battersby May 29, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Sheryl, I’ll make sure I involve you in my baking distraction next time! And you’ll be glad to hear that I will be throwing myself into the next project from tomorrow.

    Karen, I feel for you! E-mail in many ways makes the waiting worse – the immediacy of it glues you to the computer, and I too have found myself obsessively hitting the refresh button. Turning it off was brave and sensible! Hope you survive the weekend and that good news is ready to greet you in the new week.

  4. 4 Kathleen Noud May 30, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Hey Kid!
    I’m on Sheryl’s side for this one – new project!

    Waiting sucks and the only thing you can actually do is get on with your life as usual.

    That said, I didn’t even know you were ‘waiting’. Cheeky.

  5. 5 Katherine Battersby May 31, 2009 at 9:35 am

    New project it is, Kathleen! I just needed a day of slumping around first :)

    Yes, I’m ‘quietly’ waiting, until I hear enough to let people know what for.

  6. 6 Kathryn Apel June 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Heh Kath. I’d love to be a friend you can call to bring the jam and whipped cream (my kinda thinking, Sheryl) but alas, distance makes that impossible, so I’m just going to affirm your decision to start a new project – after first recovering from the ‘first’. And if you haven’t yet got the passion or focus for the new one – start another. Because eventually everything becomes something – and nothing gets wasted!

    Now, about those scones…

  7. 7 Katherine Battersby June 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    We can do so much via distance nowadays, but not cooking! I’ll just have to send scone vibes your way via the internet and you can send jam and cream vibes right on back!

  8. 8 Sarahlynn June 8, 2009 at 4:18 am

    This post resonates with me!


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About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:

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