Your entry's in the mail...And now what?
I was originally going to write about GH-induced depression but I don't have the heart to cast gloom and doom on this amazing few weeks of discussion and camaraderie. So instead I'm going to fast-forward to when you hand in your bundle of joy to the post office or fedex, and with a lighter purse realize that's it. Your entry, the source of so much cutting and pasting, deliberation and stress, is now out of your hands.
First thing, do not read over your entry. I can guarantee you will find something so clunky it will make you tear your hair out and despair. Honestly, it's best not to know, and chances are the judges won't notice. (I have won contests where a page was missing and the hero's name changed. I don't recommend this approach, it just happened.)
Next, forget about it. For a moment. Do something fun. Has your behind been glued to a chair while you revise, nitpick, fiddle about? In that case, unless you are blessed with a wonderful metabolism, your butt will have assumed an identity all its own and you must take it out on a date.
In other words, reward yourself. Go to a movie, take a walk, meet up with friends--what do you like to do for fun? Do it. You have worked hard, and you need a break even if you have forgotten what that feels like.
If your GH ms. isn't already submitted somewhere, send it out, bearing in mind that if you call in a few months with the news that your ms. has finaled, it will go to the top of the slush pile. Then forget about it again. It's another completed manuscript. Start something else. Read. Critique. Keep working. Never give up, never surrender. And good luck.
What do you plan to do to celebrate your GH entry?