Talking to other debut authors gives one the sense that your first almighty "edit letter" is something of a written panic attack. It can be, but not in the sense I was expecting.
Granted, I had a pretty good idea what to expect, and this certainly wasn't the first time I'd received revision requests. I've genuinely enjoyed going back into I AM DRUMS and making it a stronger story. The edit letter, however, is a different ballgame. Everything wrong with the story is broken into tiny little pieces, dissected, and rearranged so that you can see it from a fresh angle. That's the editor's job, and I like hearing what they have to say. If you don't like your baby being put under a microscope, there are plenty of writing groups that love back slapping and don't require rhino skin to participate.
I'm really proud of the revisions I've made, so it seems weird that I started panicking the first time I considered hitting the SEND button to send my revisions to my editor. There's an odd fear of disappointment -- the same I felt when my agent asked me to make revisions before officially "signing on." What you send says a lot about your ability to be the writer the recipient is counting on you to be. Maybe that's obsessive thinking, but I know I'm not the only one who's thought this.
I solved my dilemma by setting myself a deadline. Tomorrow afternoon, I hit SEND. No matter what. It's different than the one my editor set, but I'm setting it anyway. It's not the deadline that helps me put myself in the writer's chair so much as the challenge of beating a deadline. I'm going to beat this one tomorrow.