The first round was for hole plugging (I'm talking about the plot hold kind!), needless-character wiping, subplot weaving, end changing, back story filling, and a slew of other structure enhancement that makes the story THE STORY. I'm giving myself a 2-week break before I whip out my grammar pistols and bang out my manuscript's repetitive language, incorrect tenses, and misuse of homophones. (As in waste/waist, dye/die...I must have some sort of medical condition.)
After almost two years I think I've finally become comfortable with my process. I've learned that my novels need multiple revisions, reviews and critiques before it's presentable for betas or agents. I've learned the pitch requires multiple revisions, reviews and critiques before sending it to agents. Also, when reaching milestones, stepping away is mandatory to clear your mind. Most importantly, I've learned that all this takes a TON of time. For some, writing takes more/less time, and that's dependent on a lot of factors. There is no right formula for how much time we should write, how many short stories we should pump out, or how many novels a year we should publish.
The way I see it, writers are a lot like runners. There are runners who train a lot of hours and run 5Ks in under 16 minutes. That's really something! I'm no such runner. The best I have done is a 5K in 26 minutes. But, my goal isn't to beat the 16-minute guy; my goal is to keep running. Because, seriously, a 26-minute 5k isn't all that bad, and I feel freaking fantastic! Whether your a 35-minute 5K runner, or a 50-minute 5K walker/runner, the point is you are running the race. You feel great after each race and you are physically healthy. Think of writing short stories, poems, or novels as completing a race. Who cares what your time/rate/pace is, the point is you finished. And you're keeping yourself mentally and emotionally healthy throughout.
And like running (or skiing, or wrestling, or sculpting....whatever your heart craves), writing isn't for everyone. But if you do it, it's at your own pace and for your own happiness. So to everyone who has ever completed a piece of writing, and to those who are still working on a draft or revision, Kudos to all!
I think I might be going through the "runner's high" equivalent for writers. A "writer's high" maybe? Anyway, before I start singing Kumbayah, I'll leave you with this Haiku. I usually don't write such short poems, but this one practically wrote itself.
Hold on to your dreams.
No one will believe in them
If you choose not to.