while on submission to publishers, it's important to keep your mind off the process by finding other things to occupy your time.
the most common advice online is to write something else.
yeah, that's all well and good and probably what you should be doing, but for me - it's not a great distraction, because working on my WIP makes me think about writing.. which leads to thinking about other books i've written.. which leads to thinking about the book that's on sub.. which leads to obsessive email checking!
i find these distractions much healthier:
1) remodel your bathroom.
- start by planning just to paint. then, of course, notice some water damage that has to be dealt with first and proceed to hire a contractor to tear out a wall and part of your ceiling. hire another contractor to replace your skylights so the water damage does not return. after this, decide there's no point in painting without a new bathroom door to complete the look. have Handsome spend a week rebuilding the door and the entire frame. spend days and days repeatedly dusting up the debris left behind by this work. also, have Handsome photoshop the heck out of your bathroom, so you have a vision before painting. tape off the entire bathroom so it's completely unusable, then proceed to lose all interest in the project.
(because, um, how can you possibly worry about painting when your book is on sub and you have to go check your email?!)
2) take a vacation that requires 4 plane rides and two long car trips.
- be sure to get lost in the car on the way to your destination so that you have to concentrate on arguing with your family and navigating with your cell phone.
(turn right here. now turn left. uhhh... what's that? i don't know the next road. i turned off google maps to check my email. i'm on sub, you know!)
3) reprogram your tivo.
- use entertainment magazines to chart your fall TV schedule. settle on the couch, prepared to program, and notice Handsome has hooked up a PlayStation 3 to the TV. great! video games will be a perfect distraction! demand Handsome show you how to use it. then, naturally, discover the coolest thing the PS3 does is surf the web - turning your TV into the world's largest computer monitor.
(omg. do you know what website would look awesome on a 50-inch monitor? my email inbox.)
4) focus on your day job.
- pay particular attention to your email inbox at work. 600 emails a day is a lot to wade through. it's a great time suck to keep your mind off sub.
(and you'll get to it... right after you check the (1) message in your gmail inbox.)