Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fear and Excitement

As I approach the end of editing on RTL, I'm a mass of mixed emotions. The most prevalent of these are fear and excitement. Basically the two of them are warring for top emotion, and together they're making me a smidge queasy.

Most of the fear, I think, stems from the fact that RTL is so close to me. (Not in a 'this is my life' sort of way, but more like 'this is my favorite child'.) I love all my books, but this one is special. I read it and feel a visceral reaction to my own words. (Which is difficult in most cases because I know what's going to happen next, so even the tense parts aren't really so tense for me.) So, this causes a whole anxiety attack about what happens if the people I submit to don't feel the same way. Just the thought makes me freak out to the point where I feel like I don't want to submit it to anyone. It's also making me obsess over the submission materials, and I'm a couple weeks away from being ready to send out queries.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the excitement, of course. This is the fifth novel I've written all the way to 'The End'. Five books in four years (or thereabouts). According to my CP, this is my best book yet. (And she loved the other ones she's read, so that's saying something.) I can't wait to finish polishing it and shoot it out into the world. I have a feeling this will be the one to launch my career, and it feels like it's been so long in coming it would never get here. Like I said, I love this book. It makes me cry, it makes me laugh, it makes me worry about the characters and whether they're going to make it - and I already know they will. I believe the agents I've picked will think so, too - once they read it.

I just have to get them to read it, which goes back to the whole obsessing over submission materials again.

Don't get me wrong. At this point, I'm obsessing over every word choice and comma in the manuscript as I hardcopy edit it. My pages are splattered with red ink, and the book is beginning to shine like the top of the Chrysler Building. (Pretty night picture, but not quite what I mean. If you didn't know it, the Chrysler Building's top is metal and polished, and it shines in the sunlight. I just couldn't find a good picture of that, so this'll have to do. But I digress...)

I should be done with this puppy soon. Then I'll fix it and send it out to beta readers. (If you're interested in being a beta reader, please let me know. I can always use an extra set of eyes.) Depending on how long my beta readers take, I could be ready to submit by the end of April. That means six more weeks of the pendulum of emotions.

Do any of you experience this? How do you handle it?

PS. Happy Valentine's Day. May you get all the lovin' you can handle today and every day. =oD

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