With several projects in submission at any given time over the past couple years, I'm pretty familiar with self inflicted torture.
It stems from this: I want to see this story published.
Which leads to: Well, I've got to send that story out into the big world.
The waiting ends when you either get good news or bad news. Whichever it is, it's the waiting part before the news that is torture. The news is like a sweet release, even if it's bad news. At least the waiting is over. Of course, that means we have to go back to the first statement, and if that's still true, then onward to the second.
The cycle looks like this:
Yay, I pushed send on my submission email!
Check every twenty minutes for confirmation email.
Whew, okay, I know they received my story. Now off to the next project.
Write a couple pages. Check email.
Read a book. Check email.
Eat. Check email.
Refresh email. Nope, there really isn't anything there. Grumble.
Go to work. Check email.
Work on an old story. Check email.
Check publication's blog/website for response times. Sigh deeply.
Surf favorite websites. Check email.
Check writer websites and commiserate with others who are also waiting.
Before going to bed, check email.
Wake up. Check email.
See a movie. Check email.
Send yourself an email from another account. Yep, your email is working. Sigh deeply.
Decide to just keep email open in the background and then try not to look at it every five minutes.
Write a blog post about your obsessive urge to check email.
Have an all day tv series marathon to keep mind off checking email.
Forget email for a few days, wrap up another story and submit it.
The more submissions you have out there, the better the odds of something eventually turning up in your inbox. Hey, I should go check my email.