Without going into too much detail, there's a certain thing I want to submit my first manuscript to. It's frustrating, because the rules/submission times are never announced until the very last minute, which makes editing and preparing a real bitch. But what can you do? The publishing world isn't fair and traditional routes have proven fruitless.
I've been trying to edit from the beginning onward and it has been a tedious process. I've read the first chapter so many times, I'm sure I could recite the words in my sleep. I've broken down the first chapter so many times that it has lost all flavor for me. Suddenly, I was reading the first chapter with the same mindset that the agents probably had when they rejected it: this is just okay, there is nothing that I love about it, better luck next time.
And, like that, I stopped editing. I gave up before I even began, before I could even submit anything. It wasn't until I got a notification about a FAQ for the impending contest that I forced myself to try again. Only, this time, I would edit a random chapter at a time. I'd stop fretting over the first chapter and see how the eighteenth chapter is faring.
While the continuing chapters were getting marked up just as much as the first chapter, I found myself getting lost in the story again. I felt for the characters that once felt as real as my own family to me. I finished chapters wanting to read more and had to stop myself from just reading it like a regular novel, sans analytical mindset.
It was like falling in love again with your very first love. All the joy and trust and belief in this manuscript had faded with the years. And now, reading it again, I feel the exact same way I felt when I was 23 and finished writing the last page of the manuscript. I feel like this manuscript could really do something if people just gave it a chance. And I haven't felt that way for a long while.
I won't be delusional and say that anything will come of this contest. Given the number of submissions, there's a good chance I won't even make it past the first round. But, at the very least, it has renewed my passion for my first manuscript and helped me appreciate it like I haven't appreciated it in years.