5 Things To Do While You Wait

Part of the writing life is waiting. Not always a fun part, but a necessary part nonetheless. We wait for inspiration. We wait for ideas. We wait for the right words. We wait for the deadline. We wait for the email, the phone call, the go ahead.

Waiting can be hard. And worrisome.

Here are some things to do while you pass the waiting time.

1. Read

Admit it. You have a list of books you’re going to read some day. The first rule of writing is to read. Are you in a waiting period? Fill it up with reading.

2. Write
This one’s a no-brainier, but sometimes easier said than done. If your waiting time is also an anxious time, it can be a struggle to concentrate. Still, if possible, one of the best things to do while you’re waiting is to write. Whether it’s a new story or a journal entry, writing keeps your skills sharp an keeps your writing gears in motion.

3. Explore

Sometimes the best distraction during a wait is to try new things. Discover new areas of creativity. You might find talents you didn’t know you had. Always wanted to try sculpture? Sketching? Web design? Basket weaving? The waiting time might be the best time to try. You never know where your exploring might take you.

4. Daydream

Don’t laugh. Daydreaming is an important part of waiting. Thinking about the outcome of your wait, the relief and joy you’ll feel, can be one of the things that carries you through the time. And it sure beats worrying.

5. Sharpen Pencils

Not long ago, I bought an old school pencil sharpener. Not one of those fancy electric models. I mean one with the hand crank and a see-through canister that lets you watch the sharpeners grind away at the pencil. I love it. My kids love it, too. There’s something visceral about sharpening those pencils. Something soothing. It’s like crunching on potato chips, only better for you. Sometimes when I’m anxious, I sharpen pencils. For you it might not be sharpening pencils. It might be yoga or playing racquetball or whittling sticks. Whatever it is, sometimes you just have to do something simple and satisfying to take your mind off the anxiety of the wait. I say, Sharpen away!

I hope you find these tips helpful. I hope your waiting is over soon. And I hope on the other side of your wait you find much joy.