10. There's an unidentifiable insect floating in your half-full mug of coffee. You've no idea how long ago the insect met its watery, yet caffeine-filled fate.
9. Your manuscript is polished to the highest luster you're capable of buffing. You're done. Time to send it out. But...maybe you'll check it over one more time.
8. Your fingers are frozen in position on the keyboard. For a long, long, too-long time.
7. As you were typing, your pet jumped up into your lap, glanced at your work, blinked twice, and then tore out of the room as if the devil himself was nipping at his paws. This can't be a good sign.
6. To change up your editing routine, you form a chapter of your WIP into a word cloud. The word that is in the forefront is "smooshed". This gives you pause.
5. This gives you a long, long pause.
4. You get a cold-water-in-your-face shock of clarity as you realize (just as you're handing your manuscript over to your much-beloved spouse) that your protagonist's name is remarkably similar to your first love's. Wow. You may have unresolved issues.
3. You can hear the blinking cursor taunting "Not...good...not...good" whenever there's a pause in your typing.
2. Glancing through that manuscript you sent out two weeks ago, you notice a typo on the first page.
And the question I ask and fear at the same time...
1. What happens next?