Recently I downloaded an app onto my Android (I can't remember what it was for) and set up notifications for it. The notification went off sometime over the weekend and the noise actually made my heart stop. Why? Because it was the same noise I'd set for my email when I first started querying (I've since changed the notification sound). Every time my phone made that noise my heart jumped into my throat and I wanted to vomit over everything. If you're anything like me, once things become attached to an event, they never un-attach. So I came up with a list of ways to make your present and post-querying life easier.

  1. Make everything query specific.  The notification on your phone, the labels in your inbox, the music you listen to - if you attach things to events make sure that you have things that are query specific and that you don't mind absolving yourself of after every thing winds down and you no longer want to vomit.
  2. Don't listen to your manuscripts soundtrack. I couldn't listen to We, the Risen's soundtrack, even if I had been so inclined. Anything associated with it made me want to throw myself off the edge of a cliff. But yesterday, a song that a played repeatedly during revisions showed up on Pandora and I could enjoy it without barfing. If I had listened to it during query time, I would have skipped it yesterday and possibly thrown myself out of my chair (as there was no cliff in sight).
  3. Don't read your manuscript while querying. This (like everything in this post) goes back to the vomit-y feeling that will attach. I think I spent the entire process trying to decide if I wanted to choke on my heart or throw up everything I had ever eaten. Just re-reading my query and the first ten pages I sent along made me nauseous. And I'm really, really glad I didn't reread it while I queried  - doing revisions with a heart-in-your-throat feeling would not have been fun.
  4. Find a new project. One of the things that made waiting so much easier was planning other projects. I'd tell myself: even if We, the Risen doesn't work out, I have something else. I have a project that I am as passionate about, that I love as much, that is speaking to me as much as We, the Risen did. It meant that went rejections started coming in I didn't want to throw up as much. And it gave me hope because even if it hadn't worked out I had another piece of myself that I was working on.
  5. Lay off the coffee/caffeine. I know! I know. It sounds so ridiculous since most of run our lives on caffeine. But - and this might just be me - I had a lot of trouble eating while I queried. Breakfast became an optional meal, and lunch was sometimes cheese. When there is less food in your system, coffee can affect you in all the wrong ways. Shaky hands, headaches, wanting to throw up even more than before. I'm not saying give it up completely - but replace it with other things or cut back. Black tea is a good replacement. Or cut your two cups down to one. Or the espresso to regular coffee.
Those are just some of the ways I coped with being on the query train. How do you/did you/will you cope with it?
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