Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Have Fun With the Crickets in Your Inbox

A good friend of mine has just started querying, and another close friend will be soon. I am currently on submission and waiting on responses from publishers, and I have a few other friends waiting on pub responses as well. Which means we are pretty much all basket cases.

Querying and submitting are tough. The hardest part, by far, is the inevitable rejection. However, the WAITING is a close second. How many obsessive email checkers are out there? Come on, raise your know who you are *she says as her own hand waves proudly* My writers buddies call that sad emptiness inside their inboxes Crickets...'cause that's all you hear when you open the box ;-)

Now, I queried my fiction for a long time. Not intentionally. But, every time I decided to shelve my book, another request would come in, and then some nice rejections with a few revision suggestions will squeak I'd revise, send out a few more queries, get a few requests, get a few rejections, decide to shelve again, get some more suggestions.....well, you can see how this goes. And once I got an agent and we started submitting to publishers, well, the waiting got worse. Like REALLY worse :D Now I get to wait on my agent to send revision notes (or to pass on a book idea completely), and waiting on publishers to say yea or nay to buying your book is nerve wracking in the extreme...especially because it can take soooo lonnnng.


I've been doing it long enough now that I've gotten pretty good at just ignoring the fact that I even have submissions out. The crickets can still get pretty irritating though. So I came up with a few ways to distract myself from them.

1. Spam Your Friends

Now this one is fun :D Especially if they are waiting on responses too. Because you know every time they get a message saying they have email, their heart jumps a little (wicked, ain't I?) ;-)

I dig up funny stories, pictures, etc to put a smile on their faces, so it's not a total evil past time :D I mean, it's fun to get mail, even if it's not from an agent or publisher.

Oh, and this ONLY works on very good friends. Never, NEVER spam an agent. They will not appreciate your message full of funnies. They have enough mail to read. If you send them more, it will just take that much longer to get to whatever query or submission you are waiting on, and that wouldn't be good.

2. LOLcats

Ah, what a wonderful distraction. I am pretty heavily addicted to LOLcats. The dogs, celebrities, political jokes, graphs, and FAILs are pretty hilarious as well. Not only can you spend hours reading (and emailing) these, you can also make your own. Tons of fun!

3. Research a New Project

Okay, this might only be fun for me. And maybe a few select others. So...moving on...

4. Blogs

Read them, write them, search them, comment on them, follow get the picture ;-)

And, while there are many, many, MANY other things you could do to distract yourself from the pesky crickets, the single best way is...


Pull out a new project and write. Focus on something besides the book you are querying or submitting. Lose yourself in the world of a new character. There is nothing like get swept away in a new story. Get excited about it, swim in it, devote all your available brain space and some that is not so available to it. Pretty soon you'll find that you don't even hear the crickets anymore :)

How do you distract yourself from those crickets?


  1. Oh, I know this feeling all too well! I have to lose myself in a new story. It's the best way to forget about the crickets.

  2. The waiting is definitely the worst part. And I agree with your conclusion--writing something else is definitely the best way to distract yourself. Though I do like your idea of spamming your friends :)

  3. hi miss michelle! for me i dont get those crikety emails cause i didnt ever submit any of my stuff. but some day im gonna and then i could know when i get that noise what it is. im gonna keep all your good ideas for when that happens.
    ...smiles from lenny

  4. Oh - and The Sims 3 also provides a most-excellent distraction!

  5. It's been so long since I've queried or been on submission, I'm not sure I can remember what it feels like. Oh wait, yes I can: bad.

    Thanks for this, Michelle! You've got some fun ideas here.

  6. I agree: write, write, write!

    Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

  7. I've definitely used a few of these -- starting to research and write a new novel, creating a blog, diving into the twitterverse. And it has absolutely worked. Queries? What queries?

  8. Something's coming to your inbox now...

  9. Actually, I love researching new projects, too... I've been writing a lot while waiting--blogs, new wips,--and playing video games, too. It helps with the anxiety.

  10. I love that I'm not the only oddball who loves to research LOL And hi Lenny! :D


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