Waiting…with a Helpful Teaspoon of Anxiety
So much of a writing career is about waiting. Waiting for things we can’t control – but which have SO much effect on our careers!
Right now I’m waiting on three things:
- I’m waiting to hear back from my agent. I sent him a rewrite of my latest novel, and I’m waiting to find out if he thinks it’s ready to submit to editors. Please cross your fingers for me?
- I’m waiting to get reviews in North America for my upcoming novel, Stolen Magic (a.k.a. A Reckless Magick in the UK). There are at least two major journals that will probably review it within the next couple of weeks. And when I think about that…aaaahhh! My anxiety levels shoot ever upwards.
- Last, but very much not least, I’m waiting for Stolen Magic to come out in North America! It’s due to be published on April 2nd. It’s the third in a trilogy. It was the hardest book of the trilogy to write, by far, and it’s also the one I’m most proud of. Will readers buy it? Will they like it??? These are the questions that haunt me as I lie awake at night.
So, as you can see, I’m not particularly a champ at handling all the associated waiting that comes with being a writer…but I’m working on some coping methods.
First (of course) (because it’s me!), I started with jewellery.
As a combination reward-for-finishing-my-latest-rewrite and happy-finishing-the-trilogy! present (to myself), I bought a beautiful silver charm bracelet with just one charm. It reads:
Should be an easy command to follow, right? But in my current anxious state, my thoughts want to whir at high speed around my head, driving my anxiety levels higher and higher. Instead, when I can, I look at that charm. I take a deep breath. I tell myself: Just be.
It doesn’t always work, but it is a good reminder.
And secondly – and even more effectively – I’ve started working again on my next book, the one that’s still a complete first draft. After two and a half weeks off, yesterday I sat down and read through the 8,400 words I’d written so far. I loved my characters and story all over again. I started typing.
Two hours later, I had 1656 new words, a finished chapter…and better yet, I was feeling good. I wasn’t anxious. I wasn’t panicking about what one or another person might think of one or another of my previous books. I was just in the world of my new book-love…
…and that is priceless.
How about you guys? No matter what job you have, how do you cope when your anxiety levels soar? I’d love to hear your methods.