SO in the last week i've completed the line edit, sent it off and then i sat there chewing my nails up to the elbows. I'm lucky that i've got an agent who a) edits, and b) listens to what i have to say when i argue the case for not changing something.
When i sent the MS back, i was loathe to change a particular chapter because it would mean rewriting yet another part of the plot. It feels a bit like the tenuous web of happenings in the book is all held together by certain points, and that to remove one of these would undo the string and it would all fall apart.
Luckily, after reading my objections, my agent agreed with me on this particular point. So i got the MS back and made a few more changes that we'd agree on, then added a chapter at the end to give it an "ongoing" feel. I sent it off again last night and am now waiting for the line edit on the last few chapters.
Once that's done i get it back for one last tightening (which i will do the moment i get it in true obssessive style), and then it's back to them to be read by both agents before being submitted.
It feels real. It feels like the time is right. I've had some amazing feedback from those who have read it, and they are all people i can rely on not to pull punches if they think something doesn't hit the mark.
The difficult part now is managing expectations. I want to succeed, i intend to succeed, i need to succeed, but i also have to be aware that it might not happen yet.
Bear with me while i try to explain this...
I'm committed to being a successful author, and i'm determined to make this happen. I think self-belief is a massive part of any form of success, so long as it is self-belief and not arrogance. So i believe that i will get published, that this book will be a success and i will finally begin the long hard slog towards people knowing my name and buying my books.
If it doesn't happen, however, i'll see you in the pub for a commiseratory beer... :)