It is a truism that while waiting for an answer about a proposal or book manuscript, time slows to a snail's pace, and the endless silence screams.
It is also a truism that when things finally start popping, there's nothing slow about it. Manuscript deadlines collide with galley deadlines that come smack up against (guess what) still more deadlines. For promotional responsibilities, a synopsis due to another editor, a proposal that your agent is expecting... possibly last week.
These competing pressures are enough to make a writer feel like a Swamped Thing... and quite literally turn into a monster (ask my family) under the stress.
Over time, however, I've gotten far better at handling things. I've learned to block out my upcoming schedule and compartmentalize rather than stressing over all of it at once. (You'll often hear my wandering around muttering, "One page at a time.")I've learned to schedule in some extra time for "oopsies," those unpredictable time drains that show up when they show up, and I've learned that it's important to fence off (with barbed wire) a reasonable amount of time for family, friends, boring-but-necessary-household-tasks, and an occasional walk in the sunshine.
Because a little dose of sunshine and downtime are the enemies of monsterdom. You have my family's word about that, too.
What strategies do you use to cope with both the waiting and the stress of time-crunches?
Gotta run now. My daily pages and my galleys both await!
By the way, the cool comic graphic comes from www.myfreewallpapers.net. Gotta love it!