I've spent the last week readying the opening five chapters of a particular book to send to a particular publisher who aren't open much of the time to unagented writers. As they are for the rest of the month (and as I love their stuff and think this book would be a good fit), I've been editing and tidying up the chapters with one eye on the date. While I obviously have another week or so before the end of the year and the window closing, I still decided to send my submission yesterday.
Now don't get me wrong. I made sure the sample was as shit hot as it could be (anything less would be a waste of their time as well as mine), but I could have spent the rest of December working on it, analysing every word and full stop, every semi-colon and exclamation mark - of which there are precisely none - or I could have done what I did: get it ready and hit send. So I did.
I don't think there are many writers who are 100% happy with their stuff whether it's the first draft, the second, a polished one ready for critique or the published book sitting on the shelves at Amazon or in Waterstones. I know I could spend two minutes reading the stuff I've had published and spot five things I'd like to change, but that's obviously not going to happen. A writer has to draw a line somewhere and say 'this is a good as it's going to be. Time to send it out into the world'. For me, that line was yesterday. If it's accepted, obviously there'll be edits galore but that's a different matter to subbing the sample in the first place. The book is out there, working its way to a slushpile reader and then hopefully an editor. And it's out there now instead of in another week because, sometimes, a writer just has to hit send.