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I finished up a rewrite for my longsuffering Harlequin editor, and I emailed it off. No better feeling!

But that’s also when the Writerly Paranoia sets in. It feels good to get the manuscript off my desk and into my editor’s inbox, but that also means that it’s off my desk. It’s out there—waiting for judgment.

Did I get it right? Will she like it? Will she hate it? Has she read it yet?

Is she reading it now?

Taking a writer who spends hours every day all by herself, cooped up with a computer and a preschooler (so not technically alone, but definitely free of any adult, calming company), and then fill her overactive imagination with questions like these, and the outcome tends to involve comfort eating.

So I stave off the inevitable Writerly Paranoia by starting a new story. This one isn’t brand new—it’s the firefighter story. I’ve done research and decided on my basic premise, so it was a matter of plotting the novel, and getting back into first draft writing. It keeps me occupied. It gives this creative imagination of mine someplace else to wander.

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Much better.

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