I didn't do anything, really. Last bit of writing I did was last lunch break, and I feel like a slacker doing just around 500 words. Writing, at the moment, is hard. I seem to be in the "inhale" phase of the writing cycle. To explain, reading and writing follow cycles. I either read a lot or I write a lot, never really both together. Reading and editing is "inhaling", letting fiction and facts and other voices resonate through me, and writing is "exhaling" - making my thoughts and images visible (in a manner of speaking).
There's no point trying to reverse the two. I'm soul blind when I try to read during a writing cycle. I get impatient with the text, and that affects me and my perception of the text, and it never really gets through my skin that way. Similarly, when I'm reading, I tend to be much less prolific. I feel passive, receptive, in-drawn, withdrawn, while my brain orders and restructures thoughts and images and makes them part of the greater whole which I'll jokingly call my "mind". Being aware of those cycles is important, because accepting that I'm currently reading and not writing takes down the stress a notch. That's how I roll, that's how I work. I can still write (a bit), but it's slow. I'm not churning out 2,000 words/day, or even just 1,000, but maybe 300 or 500. I can very well clean up the text, edit, tighten the prose, fix mistakes.
I'm also getting to the point where I begin anticipating hearing back from publishers. Anticipation is bad. I try to forget my texts are out there and am then often pleasantly surprised when I hear from them. Right now, I'm waiting for three responses, each one bloody important, and already my mind runs around, frantic, doing that old dance of "what if, what if, what if?" And the Greek chorus in the background goes "you might get three rejections, you know?" in an ominous rising voice. Mocking.
Having to wait for three months to hear back feels inhumane. Month one, I was OK, because, yeah, no point expecting anything. Month two, same. End of month two - anticipation starts. They might get faster through the text. They promised to return as fast as possible. Is my text on the "perhaps" pile, where it can stay for six months (it has happened, and thank the Fates that I'd already given up on the text in question...)? What did I do wrong that I haven't wowed the editor?
Another reason why building relationships with publishers is so important: you go to the top of the reading pile when they know you and you already made them a tidy sum. But nobody really knows me yet. As far as most editors out there are concerned, I'm a nobody. I couldn't bring my five to ten thousand German readers with me when I made the change and the switch over to the English market. That's the harrowing part of this writing thing. Waiting, anticipating, wondering. Looking into my internal mirror, facing myself, directly, and asking; "did I do the best work I can? Am I good enough? Did that experiment backfire? Am I commercial enough?"
The best way to distract myself is fresh writing. Reading just keeps me open to the outside world, and while waiting for a "yay" or "nay", that's the last thing I want. I don't want to see the outside, I'm happy on the inside, peering out only enough to stay functional in my "mundane life".