I think there's an assumption out there that somehow the whole publishing process gets easier once you've established yourself as a writer. That's only partially true. It allows that you can usually get someone to at least read your next manuscript. But in the creative world, you're only as good as your current project.
I still get this deep dread inside me whenever I send off a manuscript. I never send out anything that I don't think is good, but that's no guarantee that anyone else will agree. I sent off the manuscript for my new novel to my publisher last month. In my opinion, it was the best thing I'd ever written, but I was extremely nervous about the reaction it might receive fro a variety of reasons, some real and others a creation of my own self-loathing. Earlier this week, I got a response:
"This novel is beautiful, poignant, authentic and really conveys the horror (and the comfort) of the schizophrenic mind."
There is still work to be done, but a positive start certainly makes revisions seem easier to tackle. After spending so much time and energy on something, there's nothing worse than thinking you'd have to start over from scratch or that the story you invested so much life into is suddenly deemed worthless. Thankfully, I dodged another one...