I'd heard that when you're querying one project you should start working on another. Now I understand why. You need a distraction. Otherwise you'll be hitting refresh on your email every 5 seconds. That email ain't comin' for a long time because those agents are busy (and this week they're at BEA), many of them a month or two behind on their query inbox. This is a s...l...o...w process with a lot of turbulence, that's for SURE. I'd almost queried once upon a time (2009/2010) but I'm very very very happy I refrained because that book was so not query-ready, and deep down, I knew that. But I've gotta say, I'm glad to finally be in the query waters with this book.
I pulled out the WIP I'd put on the back burner last year when I started the one I'm querying now. I'd already written 20k words on it, and reading back through, I find that I still really do like the story and I'm excited to be working on it again. Emphasis on work. I'm a much stronger writer now than I was when I started drafting this WIP, and it's also in past tense so as I'm going through line by line to make it sound more like me, I've got tense to deal with. It's actually been a fun exercise this past week, watching something old become new and prettier. Breathing new life and a stronger voice into my characters, especially the male POV now that I'm learning how to better portray him.
So what do you work on when you're querying? Something new? Something old? How do you distract yourself from email refresh madness?