Before I hit send, I thought the following things:
– That I was relieved, more than anything, to be finished. This process was one that had been in the back of my head since I first had that conversation months ago, and the constant presence was something that had gone from something filled with potential and possibility and, yes, even excitement had become something of a worry, especially in recent weeks. At the start of everything, I’d suggested the end of summer as a self-imposed deadline because it felt impossibly far away; then, suddenly, the end of August was staring me in the face, and I was all too aware of the need to just sit down and get things done.
– That this wasn’t the end, but really just the end of the beginning, to use the cliche. What I was sending off was a first draft — arguably, something even earlier than that, notes towards a partial first draft, perhaps? — and nothing was really finished at all. In fact, this was taking things into a more difficult, awkward place where someone else would see what I’ve been doing and could tell me all the ways I’d messed up. This was just the start; as soon as I sent it, things would only continue, only get bigger and more filled with pressure and expectation.
– That I was nervous of letting go of the whole thing. As exhausting as the process had been to date, there’s been a comfort and security in working on it for so long in private, in working to my own expectations and plans without anyone else seeing or telling me where I’m going wrong. In many ways, the project had become a security blanket I hadn’t expected, and as soon as I sent it off, that wouldn’t be true anymore.
– That I would be heartbroken if it was rejected, or pulled apart with notes to essentially start over.
– That I wasn’t emotionally prepared for it to be accepted either, with all that would mean.
Knowing how scary the moment was, I hit send quickly, and tried to ignore the knot in my stomach afterwards.