Submitting your work to a contest or as a regular submission is nerve-racking. You go over your manuscript multiple times, have other people read it, and still wonder if it’s ready. If it’s good enough and polished enough to please the judges or editors, but you take the plunge anyway. Afterall, you know it could simply be your anxiety torturing you.
Then you hear back from the judge or editor, and your work has been rejected, in most cases, politely. You sigh, pat yourself on the back for having the guts to try, lick your wounds, and put the manuscript off to the side for awhile.
Eventually, you decide to try again and do more research to locate the best journals/magazines to submit your work. In the process, you decide to reread your manuscript, only to find out, you should have taken more time away from it before submitting it in the first place. There are places you put a word twice, where you’re missing words, and lines that would sound better phrased differently. Maybe you discover a scene could never play out the way you have it written.
Excitement for your new story, a quickly approaching deadline, and sleep deprivation can cause the flaws to become invisible to you.
This time, after editing and revising, you decide to put it away for more than a few days before you review it again, after a good nights rest, and send it off. It still might not get accepted or win a contest, but at least, you know you polished it to the best of your ability this time.