I was having a conversation with a good friend the other day (sorry for using you Sarah) about over-thinking it.
She has this AMAZING novel. It's a New Adult Contemporary Fantasy that is one of the most original ideas I've ever seen. The characters where solid and the story had me flipping page after page with ease. Compared to how much she marked up my manuscript, her book had hardly any errors.
So when I saw her the other night I couldn't wait to hear how well her querying was going. I thought for sure she had already signed with some big agent and was just waiting for her $5,000 contract. But no. She hadn't even sent it out.
When I asked her why, a little grumble came out of her mouth that sounded something like "well, it could use a few more changes." I stopped her before she could even finish. She was over-thinking it. Big time.
Of course we all know that we shouldn't send in a manuscript that hasn't been looked over, agents and editors want something that they can work with, but that isn't the case with my friend. I KNOW she's put in the work to get her MS shiny. It may not be perfect (when is a book ever perfect?), but I sure enjoyed reading it and I'm positive anyone with a brain would pick her story up.
The thing is, I've been there. I've rung my hands and worried over every little thing, but if you over-think it too much you could lose the magic that once resided in the story. Sometimes you have to cast in your line and see if anything bites. It never hurts to put yourself out there. And if you're not having any success, you can always reel back in and try again.
So if you're over-thinking it, I urge you to stop and take the plunge. It will be worth it in the end!