At some point the book must be finished.
As I finished tinkering with the things I need to send to Oak Tara, I noticed a sentence in my book that could use re-tooling. Then a horrible thought entered my mind.
What if there’s other sentences that need re-tooling?
There probably are.
But I’ll feel that way until the day I die. It will never be “perfect”. At some point, I have to send it off.
I told myself I wanted this sent off by the end of March. I’ve gone over and over each line until I could quote most of the book by heart. It’s all dressed up. It’s time for Cinderella to go to the ball.
I imagine there’s moments like this throughout a writing career. Pitching at a conference. Querying an agent or magazine. Sending off your manuscript. I remember being terrified at all these points. Once you hit send, you can’t “un-send” it. Once you make that first impression, that’s it. What if it doesn’t go well?
I’ve always been a fairly person. My family tends to speak its mind and rush in where angels fear tread. But writing was harder. It was almost too personal to go in with confidence. Too exposed. Going to that first conference terrified me. Writing my first query letter took me more time than writing the short story I was pitching. I took a week to compose my submission email to Oak Tara.
And now I’m here again. It’s go time. After this, there will be opportunities to work on things, but nothing major. The manuscript I send off will be very close to the one that goes to print. Then, it’ll be up to readers to decide – the most awesome submission of all 🙂
I wish I could say those query letters and conferences went well. Some did. But most had painful moments too. My hope is that seeing my book in print will have more exciting moments than painful ones.
I wouldn’t trade it though. Going to the ball can be nerve-wracking, but it’s better than staying at home. Arriving might have some awkward moments. It might even have embarrassing moments. Putting yourself out there is risky. But there’s no reward for getting dressed up nice. The only way to dance with the prince is to go.
Ahem. I think I need to go push a semi around the block after all this Cinderella talk.