1) Writing the story is hard enough. For some authors, it’s not, but for me, it is. I’m a slow writer (steady, but slow). I have a small window of time (very early in the morning before the rest of my day begins). You invest in the characters. You try your hardest to make the story come to life. You may cry when it ends (or breathe a sigh of relief), but still you hesitate to let go.
2) Editing the story isn’t too bad. You just have to trust your beta readers then be willing to carve out small (sometimes large) chunks of the story (I tend to get a little wordy). Sometimes, it can feel a little brutal (Oh my gosh! You want me to get rid of all those words? But I sweated over them, cried over them…I couldn’t possibly…okay, deep breath…delete, delete, delete!). Done!
3) Now you can submit (or be like me and let it sit for…too long). You go back and forth in your own head. “Don’t submit. They’ll hate it. It isn’t what anyone is publishing. It’s a hard sell. It stinks.” Yeah, this is the conversation that plays out in my brain far too often (and sounds suspiciously like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada—you know, that voice of deep contempt and derision and pessimism). Of course, there’s the other little voice, the one of optimism. The one of hope. The one of reason that says “Go ahead and submit. They could love it and say yes.”