Hitting Send

Veronica Rossi 3 Thursday, July 04, 2013

Sharing my work is probably the part I fear most about being a writer. Meeting a deadline, therefore, is both a time of great anxiety, followed eventually by relief.

The process usually goes like this:

Me: I'm going to do it. I'm going to send it.

Husband: Good. Do it! It's ready!

Me: No, it's not. But I have to hit send anyway.

Husband: All right! Then do it! Just hit send. You'll have another revision after this one.

Me: Do you think so? 

Husband: Sure.

Me: All right. I'm going to send it.

Repeat the above a few times, until I'm so worried I'm going to miss my deadline that I just push that blasted button and send the email.

THEN. Oh, then.

Here's what I've discovered is really weird: I don't just automatically relax. I'm usually on an adrenaline and caffeine and stress and sleep-deprivation high, so I'll answer emails, work on something else, work work work, when it's finally FINALLY time to NOT work. Why is that? It's so odd. The feeling is like I'm on a treadmill and I don't know how to get off.

One time, I hit send at three in the afternoon, worked for a while longer, went for a run, did a grocery store run, came home and made two dinners (one for the following night, too.) I was buzzing. I am usually a machine on the days I hit send.

I've developed a few strategies to come down of that hitting-send high, with the primary objective of relaxing:

1 - Make plans for afterward - Nothing fancy. But meeting a friend for a walk or coffee will get your mind off the manuscript and ensure that you're not still sitting in front of your computer hours afterward.

2 - Move - Walk. Run. Ride a bike. Swim. Whatever. It's the best way for me to work out some of the adrenaline.

3 - Celebrate - Whether you feel like you did everything the manuscript needs or not isn't really relevant. You hit a deadline. You met a milestone. And you busted your ass, probably for a good long while. That's worth celebrating. So open a bottle of wine. Or get some champagne cake, like Katy does. Basically, reward yourself.

So that's what I do after I hit send. What about you guys?


This is so ME! Only you missed the part where I focus so much on something that I sabotage myself by introducing a typo I to the cover email or something equally ridiculous. And then I HAVE to distract myself with work because I am busy obsessing.

Thanks for sharing your survival strategies. Have a great holiday!

I go through this process every time I hit 'send'. I have trouble relaxing and end up running around doing several things at once in an attempt to take my mind off it! (Usually because I'm paranoid that there's an error in the email/manuscript despite my checking it 101 times!) Those are great tips, though! :)

Have really enjoyed this series this week. You all have focused on celebrating your successes and milestones which has been helpful. I didn't realize how much a milestone it was "just" to complete a draft of a book...but now, I'm realizing it is. Thanks everyone!

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