Last week I submitted three first chapters for the First Chapter contest at the LDStorymakers conference at the end of March. A little nerve wracking, as I watch the envelope disappear in the slot and wonder if I got that hook just right, or if I should have ended the chapter a little earlier, or maybe added a few more paragraphs. They are well on their way to the judges and I've stopped worrying about them, well, almost.
This isn't the first time I've submitted something, and I have my share of rejections. There was the chapter I submitted to the conference last year and all the short stories I've written over the years. I think there is even a children's picture book somewhere in the pile. (Okay, deep breath.) This is the first time I've sent off a manuscript for a completed novel.
The chapters were child's play. Now I wonder if I told the novel's story completely. Are my characters engaging and well-rounded? Did I leave enough of a hook at the end of each chapter to keep the reader engaged? What did I miss in all my editing.
Hang on, I need another deep breath.
It's kind of like sending my baby into a den of ravening wolves. Now I know editors aren't wolves, or any other animal, they are just people trying to do their jobs. But meanwhile, I've handed over a piece of my soul and hope they treat it gently.
Meanwhile, the best medicine for the level of anxiety I am currently experiencing is to keep working on those three partially completed manuscripts that are awaiting their own turn to be submitted- and maybe a little chocolate.