Deals with the Universe

In a little over a week, calls will be going out to notify writers of their finalist status in RWA’s RITA® and Golden Heart® contests. At this very moment, hundreds — if not thousands — of writers are fixated on a certain date, even as they try desperately to pintip-mermaid-300x231ignore it.

March 26. March 26. March 26.

I know this obsession well. Although I’m not entered this year, I was in the running for the previous three years. The wait and anticipation and nerves were nothing short of exquisite torture. What is unique about this “call” is that you know exactly when it’s coming — or not coming. The countdown to Call Day was enough to make me jump out of my skin.

That is, until fellow mermaid, Kimberly MacCarron, taught me a method for waiting. Now, Kim is brilliant for a number of things, but this may be her most brilliant idea yet. It’s called “Deals with the Universe,” and it’s as simple as it sounds. You say, “Hey, universe. Let me make a deal with you. If I do X by a certain date (where X is a challenging but realistic goal), then you’ll give me Y (where Y is anything you want).” And that’s it.

You can vary this structure however you would like. For example, I sometimes like to get fancy and make tiered goals. If I can write 25,000 words by Friday, the universe will give me A. If I can write 30,000 words, the universe will give me A & B. And so on. Also, I always share the wealth and include my friends in my deals.

This method is an effective way to wait on many levels. First, you’ll be so busy trying to hold up your end of the bargain, you won’t have time to feel anxious. Second, it gives you a sense of control about something over which you have no control. And third, and perhaps most importantly, if the Universe *doesn’t* come through — because it can be fickle like that — you can still feel good about yourself. Instead of wasting your time worrying, you instead had an extremely productive week that brought you that much closer to your goals.

And finally? It’s just fun! I’m the kind of person who likes to buy a lottery ticket so that I have the “right” to daydream about what I would do with the money. Similarly, I sometimes make outrageous deals with the universe just so I can imagine what it would be like if X, Y, and Z.

GOOD LUCK to everyone entered in the Golden Heart and RITA competitions this year. I am very excitedly cheering you on! And if you’re finding the wait to be unbearable . . . try making a deal with the universe.

You might just find the universe is good to you.

What deal would you like to make with the universe? What other methods of waiting would you recommend? Please share!

31 thoughts on “Deals with the Universe

    1. Kerri, You know how we like our games! Anything to get those words written, right?

  1. Great post. Yes, I love a good contest. But I must say, not as obsessed with them as I am with getting published! :)…but fun to have a plan for ‘waiting:)! Best of luck to all that entered!

    1. Denny, The Deals with the Universe work with any kind of waiting — not just contests! And the thing we know about the publishing industry: it certainly involves a lot of waiting.

  2. I like this idea Sharon! Like you, I don’t have a horse in the race this year either . (its sort of nice!) But next year…. right back at it.

    I’ll enjoy watching all my friends get their “Universe Dares” this year! Good luck to all who have entered!

    1. Tammy, I agree! It is nice not to have a horse in the race! All the excitement, none of the nerves…well, that’s not actually true. I am nervous, on account of my friends!

  3. Lol, Pintip! Yes, I make a bunch of crazy deals with the Universe. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. And sometimes the Universe gets confused and gives you what you asked for but not specifically. Like me asking to final in the Marlene contest, but I wasn’t specific. I meant my YA manuscript, not my paranormal. lol. But the Universe can be quite the jokester.
    I have all kinds of deals going. X amount of sit-ups by a certain date. Y amount of pounds to lose. Z amount of words to write…So, if the Universe decides “Nah, I think I’ll pass on your deals this time” at least I’ll be better toned, better in shape and closer to finishing my WIP. Win-lose or win-win, but no lose-lose. 🙂 haha

    1. That Universe can be tricky. (Shhh!!! Don’t want it to hear me bad-mouthing it! Especially ’cause I’ve got some pretty major deals going this week.)

    1. There’s no time like the present to try. You’ll love it, Sharon. It’s just as addicting as sprints.

  4. Deals with the universe…hmm. Too many to count. Hope yours come out just the way you want them to, Pintip.

  5. I love this idea! I do have a horse in the race. Sigh … But I am also on deadline. (I had always hoped to say those words.) So I am working away trying not to think about next week.
    Good luck everyone!

    1. Lol, Nan. Deadlines work as a great distraction, too. But they’re not quite as much fun.

  6. Hi Pintip! I love this. Did you make a specific deal with the universe this week? I can’t tell you how much I believe in and am wrapped up in our connections with the universe. Too many things have happened that are otherwise inexplicable. It’s just magic.

    1. Yes, Carlene! This is a big week, and even though I don’t have a horse in the race, my friends do!! Thanks for sprinting with me today!

  7. Love the post and Kim’s Deal idea cracks me up–I can JUST see her doing that!
    Like most of my Dreamweaver sisters above, I’m not in it this year, but have an eye toward the 2016 RITA’s. Here’s my Deal for NEXT year: If Locked, Loaded and Lying wins ‘Best First Book’ I will…hmmm…(this is hard)…write an entire novel from July to Dec. (That’s unheard of for a procrastinator like me, so I hope the Universe is impressed.)

    1. That’s a great deal, Sarah! I’m certainly impressed, and I think the Universe will be, too!

  8. Hi, Pintip! You and Kim are the ultimate wheeler dealers! I love your deals with the universe. They’re not only fun but motivating too! I hope the universe brings you everything you’ve asked for.

    Good luck to all who entered the GH/RITA on… Hmm, what’s that date again…?

    1. Lol, Vanessa. The deals are extremely motivating. It’s one thing to let myself down, but when I include my friends in my deals, I *really* don’t want to let them down.

  9. It seems like in order to make it in the writing business without going insane, we have to learn how to wait, and wait, and wait–and then scramble madly–and then wait again. 🙂

    I love your method of bargaining with the Universe. I’m also on pins and needles for next week’s announcements. And I’m not in the running either!

    Have you read “Gimme the Pudding” by Amy Poehler? She talks about how she distracts herself from wanting whatever award she’s nominated for by setting up some sort of joke with the other nominees during the ceremony. She and Tina Fey and Julia Dreyfus has come up with some very fun ones.

    1. I haven’t read that, Asa, but I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for coming by, and I hope the universe is good to you!

  10. @Asa > I was also going to mention Amy Poehler’s “Gimme the Pudding” from her book Yes, Please! Not only does she come up with inventive, encouraging ideas as a distraction, she also talks about the pscyhological effects of wanting award recognition, and why we seek it and what it means when we aren’t recognized. All very relevant this awards season!

    I’m excited to see the finalists and hope to see some familiar names. Given the scoring changes (one number??) plus the highly varied responses I’ve received over the past year from other contests, I’m not holding my breath on my own entry. Though I’m excited to enter a new manuscript in the Maggies and some other chapter contests this year.

    1. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, Stephanie! Good luck with the GH, the Maggies, the other chapter contests! Hope to hear good news from you soon!

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