Last year I ran into an author friend who's work I admire--he's written some great stuff! I asked him if he would take a look at the book I was planning on writing. I also asked if he liked it, would he consider letting some of his contacts know about it. He said he would. I contacted him earlier this year when I had edited the first couple of dozen pages (or so I thought they were edited...). He asked me to send him the first three chapters.
I was elated.
I sent them in.
One of the tools I use to better my writing is to participate in a writing group. After I sent my friend the pages, I submitted them to my writing group and the result was devastating. There were so many things I missed, grammatical errors, and even--gasp--typos. The story was flat and basically, not very good. As critique after critique came in, I thought about what my friend and his contacts were thinking about me as an author and my writing. I realized I had one less option for me to pursue, one less opportunity to get my story published.
But then something happened.
My friend sent me a message apologizing to me--he hadn't read my chapters. He said he was going to get to them soon. I immediately texted him back pleading him not to read those pages. I told him they weren't ready and I'd send him the revised chapters soon. In the end, it might not make that much difference. Even if the manuscript was perfect, it might not be a good fit for his contacts.
Finally submitting a script knowing it can not longer be edited was one of the toughest things I've ever done creatively. Can it ever be good enough? How many edits are needed? When do you let it go? These are tough questions and each project can yield different answers, but it's not everyday you get a second chance like the one I was given. It's a valuable lesson to learn.