Sender’s Remorse and Other Complications

So, last month, I was one part of one scene away from finishing up my revisions on Full Circle and sending the manuscript to the betas. I thought for sure I would find a way to either not finish that scene and/or find new, exciting ways to procrastinate on sending out the manuscript, but I didn’t. I finished the scene and sent out the manuscript a few days later.

Usually, when I send a manuscript out to the betas, I have a moment where I feel all

because I did this thing. I completed a manuscript. I completed the revisions, and I feel I may have even made the story better. I have this moment (however small) where I feel a sense of accomplishment.

It soon dissolves into to a Great Lake of anxiety because I am, after all, still me, and I am nothing more than a overabundance of anxiety concealed in a trench coat pretending to be a semi-functional human being.

This time, however, I went straight into Lake Anxiety. There was no moment of triumph. No moment of accomplishment. There was no feeling that maybe I had made the story better. It was nothing but

(NOTE: That last gif is not the one I wanted to use. I wanted to use the gif of Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer saying “UNDO IT! UNDO IT!” from the season four episode Pangs, but apparently, no one’s made a gif of that moment, and I sure as hell don’t know how to make one. So if you know that moment from that episode, that’s what you should imagine here.)

My betas have had the story for a little over a month now, and it’ll be a while before I hear back. It’s not surprising—I write big books, and they apparently have lives outside of sitting around and waiting for me to finish writing a book (Dunno, though…sounds kind of fake…) so I am trying not to hit the panic button anymore than I already have (which is, granted, a lot) and refraining from sending them one apology after another for sending them such a shit manuscript to read. I mean, come on. It’s a big book and a big time commitment, and I feel horrible (more so than usual) that I didn’t do my best to send them a better story.

(And yes. This is what me not hitting the panic button (too much) looks like…)

Normally, I fill this time by working on another project. Gotta love distractions, right? My beloved goddaughter, for example, when she heard that Full Circle had finally gone out to betas was all, “Good. Now you can finish the Terrible Romance Sequel.”

Which would have been my plan, but it turns out that I still have no idea how, or even if, I can finish that book. All I’ve managed to do so far on that project is make this face:

Then I thought, “Hey! I’ll work on Adventures In Babysitting!”

This WIP, if you don’t already know, is meant to be a companion novella in the Coileáin Chronicles. It takes places during the events of Full Circle but is basically a few non-POV characters on a side quest, so I didn’t put it directly in Full Circle. I thought working on it would be a good idea, just in case anything shifted and necessitated changes be made in Full Circle because, you know, despite my best efforts and storyboarding tendencies, that happens.

A lot.

Which is totally fine.


Doesn’t bother me at all.


Except…it happened in this WIP. Pretty early on, too. And it went a little something like this:

My villain: Cool storyboard, dude, but what if I did *this* instead?

Me: Hmmm. That does seem like something you would do. Or, you know, exactly what you would do.

Villain: I know, right?

Me: But…

Villain: But what?

Me: But in doing so, you’ve completely killed the ‘adventure’ part of ‘Adventures in Babysitting’.

Villain: Yeah. That sounds like a ‘you’ problem. Byeeee!

So now, here I am, with two possibly dead-in-the-water WIPs and the absolute belief that my betas are hunkered down in secret, closed-door meetings, trying to decide which one of them has to tell me how terrible Full Circle is.

Must be Wednesday.

On that note, I’m outta here. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. I sincerely hope your writing endeavors (or whatever you may have going on) are progressing well.

Happy Autumn, all.

18 Commentsto Sender’s Remorse and Other Complications

  1. Jemi Fraser says:

    Anxiety is such a bitch!! I wish I didn’t know her as well as I do…
    Let it all simmer in your brain for a bit – you’ve got this!
    And as always, your gif game is spectacular 🙂

  2. What if you co-wrote the Terrible Romance Sequel with your goddaughter? Since you’re kind of blocked, and she’s so excited about it, I’m guessing she has ideas on what should happen. I don’t know how old she is, how far away she lives, etc so not sure about the actual writing part, but bouncing ideas off each other might work and be fun for both of you.

  3. I had one of those panic moments, years ago, when I sent out the version before last of my current big-book WIP. I gave it two weeks before I emailed everyone again and said, “STOP!!” Though, you’re less likely to rewrite the whole damn book like I have.

    I’m sure your betas are enjoying themselves reading your book. Good luck with all the side adventures!

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      I have not ruled out rewriting it completely. Not knowing how to do that is probably the only thing keeping me from doing it, though…

  4. I’m sure it won’t be as bad as you think when you get your story back.

  5. J E Oneil says:

    You need some ice cream and cake.

  6. Liz A. says:

    I’m sure it’s fine. You always worry, and it’s never as bad as you think. But you wouldn’t be you if you weren’t feeling this way right now, so take care. There are some drops that they sell on Amazon that help with chilling you out, just a touch. (I’ll find a link if you’re interested.)

  7. Oh my! Sender’s remorse can be so hard. I want to say that it gets better the more often you do it, but that hasn’t been true for me, and I don’t want to lie to you. So I’ll just congratulate you on putting your work out there again!

  8. Tyrean says:

    Find chocolate now! Then, eat the chocolate. Breathe deeply. Then, go to the beach, lakeside, or someplace with fresh air. After that, remember, you did the work. Congratulations on finishing one and working hard!

  9. Maybe the villain just needs a different story so he doesn’t mess that one up.

  10. Kate says:

    Your brain is clearly to take a break. Get out of there for a while and do something other than write. Maybe learn to do something new, pottery or making jewelry or painting. It doesn’t matter if you’re terrible at it, it’ll still get you out of your head.

  11. Patricia says:

    It’s always annoying when a character throws a wrench in your plan. That villain needs a reminder that he’s not the villain for you but for the characters.

  12. I guess that health experts are saying that all of us should have a checkup for anxiety now. It’s just the new normal with living in modern times.

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