When it comes to being patient, I'm not so great. When something's on my mind, it tends to stay there no matter what I do. But being a writer is all about waiting, unfortunately, so there's really no other option but to get used to it. I've come up with a few methods that distract me fairly well.
1. Write something else.
This is number one because it's so important. Maybe this project you're submitting or querying isn't going to work out. If you eventually decide that this project should be put on the back burner for a while, you'll need something else to put out there. Not to mention the fact that practice makes perfect. Even if you've written what you think is the most amazing novel to ever be written, you'll keep getting better the more your write.
Do all those things you put off while you were writing The Book. Ugh. I know that after I finished mine, I turned around to face a mountain of laundry, a lonely little dog, work, and so much else. So rather than plunging head-first into a shiny new idea, I forced myself to tie up some ends that had loosened in my absence.
3. Develop your online presence.
Start a blog. Twitter. Facebook. Anything just to meet other writers out there and learn about the world of reading, publishing, writing. I met all of my betas online. Yours could be waiting. Also, it doesn't hurt to build a bit of a platform for that wonderful day when you can announce your book will be in stores, go buy it!
4. Hone another skill.
I've always wanted to learn piano. So, one day, I opened the phone book and found a teacher. I was the oldest student by far, but it turns out I have a knack for it (if I don't say so myself.) Of course, now those lessons have gone on hold since life took over, but I will begin again, soon. I hope. No, I will. Is there something you've always wanted to learn or do? No time like during the lull of a book on submission or a query in an agent's inbox.
5. Just relax!
I wouldn't recommend relaxing too long, but hey, we've earned it, right? We sat down and spat out 50,000+ amazing words. We created this incredible thing. Why not sit back for a day or two and watch reruns of Friends?
Like I said, these are only distractions. But we all need our distractions at one time or another.
Have a great week, everyone!