Love, send, hope, break-up, repeat

Ah yes, the joy and terror or pressing send.  Usually when I send off a manuscript, I'm in a state of euphoria- after weeks, months, even years working on a project, I know, know, that it's as good as I can possibly make it.

And I'm always wrong.

I am one of those writers who hits send too soon.   

It's like a disease.  I develop a crush on a new idea and tend to fall in love with what I've just written.  This is the joy of writing, but it's also the heartache, because a little time and distance always reveals the flaws.  Me and my manuscripts are like a crazy, obsessive insta-love that burns bright and fast, but can burn out just as spectacularly. 

I send the manuscript out in search of the thing all writers crave on some level: validation.  Because let's face it when I hit send, part of the excitement is knowing that I will have a reader.  And when I know I have a reader, I can't help hoping with all my heart that the reader will love the story as deeply and passionately as I do.

The reality is that when I hit send, it's usually to get constructive criticism and help from my agent, editor, or writing friends, and not to hear someone gush about my story.  But I still can't help hoping.

That, I think is the real terror of hitting send.  When I'm hoping for acceptance, the fear of rejection looms just as large.  Larger.  The more time that passes without word, the more I start to second-guess the work, to see the flaws, to wish I'd spent more time on this character or that plot thread or this line.

And you know what?  It's okay.  More often than not, when I hit send it's to someone who is there to help me make the book better, and their feedback helps me craft a story in ways I could never accomplish on my own, no matter how much time I spent on the manuscript.

And for the rest of the times?

I open up new document and start writing something new.  And I fall in love all over again.

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