Just Ship It
So I decided to enter one of my short stories into a contest. I was convinced that it could use some help, and I had a few weeks until the deadline for submission, so I began to make radical changes to the story.
It needed a lot of work, and I was running into a lot of self-resistance as I was editing. Having never done anything like this before, I continued to tell myself that the story wouldn't be good enough, that I didn't have any reason to think I could compete with anyone else that submitted a story, and so on and so forth.
That is, until I realized a few things:
1. Worst case scenario is I don't win, but I still have a better story for it.
2. Best case scenario, I win and booyah. 'Nuff said.
All the scenarios between those two are totally great too, so there is no downside to me submitting this story. Sure, not winning might ding my pride, but you know, I probably need that. I can't go anywhere with this if I think I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Long story short, I shipped the story and we'll see what happens. At least I know I can hit a deadline with something that I'm somewhat pleased with.