As many of you know, my son is serving a mission in Rome, Italy. My daughter has recently left home to attend college. It was difficult to send my two oldest children out into the world, wondering if they were prepared, hoping I'd taught them enough, and crossing my fingers all would go well. Should I tell them one more thing? Should I check their suitcases to make sure they had everything? Were they ready? Would I ever feel like they were ready to leave me?
There have been a few bumps in the road, but all in all they are both doing well and I think they will return better home, more mature people who will have experiences only leaving home could provide. I'm sure they will both return home a few times before they are ready to venture out into their own worlds of marriage and family. By then, they should be ready.
Again, I couldn't help but draw another analogy to writing as I finished my manuscript and hit that send button today. My manuscript Heaven Scent (working title) was accepted by Cedar Fort and I signed a contract some months ago. I then revised the manuscript, incorporating the suggestions by the readers at Cedar Fort. It has been a long process, and even more complicated by personal events in the last few months, but I met the deadline. Whew!
As I prepared to send it, though, I couldn't help but take one more look and check one more word, one more paragraph, one more chapter. I ran spell check several times and then just stared at the screen. Could I send my "baby" out? Had I done enough? Should I reread it one more time? Should I see if I'd overused "just" again? Was it ready to leave my hands? Would I ever feel like it was ready?
Finally, I hit the button and sent it out into the world of editing. As with my two oldest kids, I'm sure my manuscript will come back better, more readable, and more easily understood with the help of a seasoned editor. Then, it will be ready for the rest of the world.