One of the best things about the SCBWI Summer Conference was submitting a manuscript for review. Though I wasn't quite ready (are you ever?), I went ahead, pulled together 15 pages, and submitted the work. The synopsis was even rockier, but I went ahead and sent it in. And you know what? It didn't burst in to flames. It didn't bring down the ire of an editor who I had imagined would scream something like "How DARE you submit such garbage, now kneel! Kneel swine!" Ok, so maybe this veers slightly into S/M territory, but only because the whole process lends itself to that.
But what I took away, regardless of how the review had gone (I mean, how many editors are there? That's how many opinions you'll get, right), it was the idea of a deadline that got a fire going under me. Months before I was actually going to be ready, I had to turn in pages. And then for the conference, I HAD to have the entire manuscript entirely finished. That was another deadline.
Now that I have a response, and have talked the book up a little, I now have another deadline: one week to polish this and submit it to the boys at A Different Light here in LA. They read, they gave me great tips on some recent book purchases, and they said they'd read it.