So. The manuscript was ready. The editor said I was ready. The two angels who read the whole manuscript said it was ready. I had promised the agent I would be ready in ten days. I had met my deadline. I wrote to him and told him the manuscript was ready. He wrote back and asked me to send it to him as a word document.
I fretted. I tweaked. I watched the Olympics. I visited the bathroom. I read his email. Twice. Thrice. I tweaked. (I’m sure you’re getting exasperated now.) I told myself I could always pretend I didn’t see the email. I mean, who would have thought he would respond at 9:39 p.m. when everyone was watching the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics?
I woke up with a headache. I unloaded my burden in the bathroom. I read the agent’s email again. Did he really want me to send the manuscript, like right now?? I read and tweaked, read and tweaked. I prayed. I drafted my email:
Please find enclosed the manuscript as promised.
My hand trembled. I saved the email as a draft. I skimmed the manuscript to make sure chapters hadn’t shifted somehow while I slept. Then finally, I attached it. I prayed once more, took a breath and pushed the send button.
My headache is gone, but a slight tremor remains in my limbs. I remember a sentence and wish I could change it. Should I have compressed that paragraph? Self, enough already!
The truth is a manuscript can never be perfectly ready. Not even after publication. When you’ve done everything you can, when you’ve written, edited, re-written, when the agent is waiting, JUST HIT THE BLOODY SEND BUTTON!