I think many authors find themselves staring at the manuscript they've spent the better part of a year or longer writing, revising, polishing, querying and submitting and find everything wrong they possibly can with it. Not sure why the panic sets in once their baby's out the door and sitting in inboxes all over the world, I mean it's just a bunch of words, right? Ha! If I truly believed that, I wouldn't be in this business.
When authors say they put their heart and soul into their work, they're not kidding. Every word, hyphen, comma and period in the manuscript is a very living piece of that author's soul. They bleed over their words, salivate over every accolade and weep over every rejection as deeply as they do over every major milestone in their lives. It's no wonder, I spend a good portion of my time talking many of my clients down off the proverbial ledge. They're probably reading this right now and wondering if they're the only one I talked down this week. But you know what? I love having those talks with them because these often turn into brainstorming sessions where we talk through the insecurities and get through to the heart of the matter... the fear that readers, editors, publishers, little old ladies in Babushkas planting potatoes in Russia (yes, I watch the Amazing Race) will hate what they're writing or have written and will not buy their book.
My answer? If you've read this blog before, you already know it... keep writing. Don't worry about what the editor wants, what the readers want, what the little old ladies in Russia want and write the story that your characters are begging to tell. Don't pull any punches, pull out all of the stops and leave your heart, soul and psyche open and raw on the page for all to see. Then go stand on the ledge, if you want and call me... I'll have a bottle of wine (or whiskey) ready, my laptop for brainstorming and a box of tissues for us both.