First, there is the initial sense of accomplishment. My story is finished. It is safely delivered into the hands of my editor, and I didn’t forget to pack the essentials like clean undies and boo-bear.
Then there is the sense of relief. I don’t have to write. I can if I want, if I have another story knocking to get out of my head or a grocery list to put together. But I don’t have to. I don’t even have to open up my computer (because I can check facebook on my phone).
Then there is the lost feeling. Like I should be doing something (like writing), but I’m not (which is okay because I don’t have to, but it still feels wrong), but I’m not sure what else to do. So I wander aimlessly around my house looking for something to do, end up not doing it, and then feel a little guilty about all of it!
Then there is the anxiousness. Is my story okay? Is my editor making sure it’s safe and secure and happy? Will my editor take care of it as well as I do? Does she know my story’s likes and dislike, or will she try to feed it brussel sprouts? Does my story miss me? Why hasn’t it called to tell me it misses me? Maybe I should call my editor and make sure everything is okay, like four or five times a day. Just to check in and touch bases and see if there are any questions or issues I can address and to reassure my story that I love it.
Then there is the realization that no news is good news. So there is more aimless wandering and a half-hearted attempt to pick up a hobby. Except that needlepoint doesn’t keep my brain distracted, cooking just makes me fat, and watching American Pickers reruns with the hubby isn’t quite what I had in mind when I suggested some “quality time” together.
Then, when enough time has lapsed, I finally get settled into my next project. Just in time to stop because the editor sends back my story. And it’s like OMIGAWD WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY STORY?!?!? This is not the story I sent to you…. Is this even my story at all? What did you feed it? Did it live on Lucky Charms and ice cream the whole time or did you attempt to feed it a carrot and put it to bed before midnight? Does chaos rule at your place, because it certainly doesn’t rule at—
Oh, wait a minute. No, this is my story. Okay, I recognize it, even with all the track changes and comment bubbles. Let’ssss ssseeeee…. Deeeeep breeeeaaaaattthhhhhh…… Let the initial panic wear offffff…. And, yep. It’s my story. It is still very much my story, and yet so much happier and better. I just had to set aside my own hubris to see that time with my editor helped to evolve my story into something perhaps a little different than what it was when I sent it… but yet into something which has benefitted greatly from the enriching influence of time spent away from me and in the arms of my editor!
Since I just sent my “baby” off to my editor, I have most of these stages to look forward to. But the good news is that my story is in good hands (Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!... Oops, did I type that again?). #IHaveTheBestEditorEver!