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 ignore 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!