But friends, there's only one thing to do in this precarious state: move on to the next novel.
For months now I've had the amoeba of an idea knocking at my brain. And now I have 5--5!--pages of what will someday be a novel. The excitement of this precious thing, a glorious mess of characters and ideas and notes, gets me through the waiting. My goal is to write at least a page a day. Yesterday that meant writing at 9 last night because, well, my day got a little crazy and I bought this:
See? Crazy things happen in this waiting period.
More crazy things: I've been up since 3:30 listening to the rain and thinking about today's page. Should I stick with this character? Or move into the POV of the woman in 1952 Naples Italy?
Why am I telling you this? For the writers among you, it's good hard earned advice. Don't sit by the phone. Start something new. Dive into it. Get excited. Buy a new car. Knit a blanket. (That's the other thing I'm doing)
If you're not a writer, I think it still applies, doesn't it? Don't sit by the phone. Start something new. Dive into it. Get excited. But a new car. Knit a blanket. Read this Mary Oliver poem: https://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/133.html
The final line of that poem?
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"