Can I just say, first off, that I love beta readers? (Particularly my beta readers. Because they are glorious people.) I truly don’t know what I would do without them.
So, right now I’m in that stage where I’m waiting for feedback, which used to be really frustrating, but I’m actually kind of loving it this time around. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
Catching up on short story submissions: I always tend to fall behind on these when I’m putting a lot of focus into a novel, so it’s nice to have everything out again.
Craft Exercises: I’ve found that this is the ideal time for ‘leveling up’ my writing. There’s no sense of “but I really should be working on that novel…”
Other artistic endeavors: I’m not a dancer, or musician, or traditional artist, but that doesn’t stop those activities from being a very good time. I enjoy doing pencil sketches, playing the piano, folding origami, juggling, acting, and having impromptu dance parties. It’s relaxing to work on these once in a while because, unlike writing, I have absolutely no desire to make a living from these things. It’s nice to nurture the creative part of my brain without that pressure lurking in the background.
Business things: And on the other side of the brain: There are a lot of aspects to having a writing career that have nothing to do with creative inspiration. Things like making sure my writing expenses are documented, or researching possible publishers, or getting ready for tax returns. The math side of me actually finds these things quite enjoyable, but they can also be a real buzz-kill when I’m deep within plots and characters and the magic of writing.
Critiquing projects for other people: This obviously isn’t the only time I do this, but I find that I’m a much more effective critique when I’m also in the editing process. My mind is just more sensitive to things like overused words and sentence structure right now than when I’m drafting.
Arrogant Daydreaming: Yeah, you read that right. I think all writers should indulge in this on occasion. Writing is hard. Breaking into the field is really hard. We deserve to spend some afternoons daydreaming about what to wear for the book jacket photo and who we’d want to star in movie adaptations. And now is the perfect time for that. Why? Because I can’t possibly hurt the project right now. I’m not working on it. Not even opening the file. So, I don’t need to worry about the arrogance leaking onto the page and making a mess of things. Don’t worry, I’ll reign my ego in and come back to reality when I get the comments back, but for right now I’m just dreaming big and enjoying the heck out of it!
Anyone want to add to the list? What do you do while waiting for feedback?