I've done it.
After 5 months and nearly a thousand hours in writing and editing, my manuscript is ready (if you can ever say such a thing) to send to my beta readers. It's been through every damn thing a manuscript can possibly go through with critique partners and personal editing. And yet, the first time you send it off to 'real' practice readers, into the 'real' world, it's always nerve wracking.
It's like sending your little kindergartener off to her first day of school. You've worked out her tantrums. You've helped boost her confidence. Supported her sense of individuality. Instilled your values and parental love. You know, of course, it's gonna be fine. But still...you worry.
What if they don't like her? What if she comes home crying? What if that problem you thought you worked out with her just last week comes back to the surface. Sure, you can go through it again. You've got more than enough time to help her get through her problems, and at least seven more years before she enters her teen angst stage. But that doesn't make it any easier. Because she's still your baby.
I've tried rockin it out with my headphones on and swallowing it it down along with butter cookies dipped in nutella. I've tried long walks to destress and, because I can't help myself, going over it just one more time. (And then one more...And one more...) Today, I play to talk to my best friend and ally in writing knowing that that'll do the trick.
But tell me, how do you deal with it?
<3 Gina Blechman