The book in your head is not quite the same as the book you actually write. If they had colors, one would be in RGB mode and the other in CMYK, and if you tried to make one match the other exactly you’d go fucking insane. They are like Norway and Sweden or Minnie Driver and Toni Collette. You can compare them all you want but you will foam at the mouth if you keep it up for too long.
Also, every one of your friends who gets to take a peek at the rough cover concept will pick on a very specific thing and it will never be the same thing that anyone else picks on.
Also, for weeks you will have this manuscript sitting around on your kitchen table with dozens of little Post-Its sticking out designating things your editor wants you to change, things you want to change, things you hate but don’t know how to fix, things you don’t want to mess with but need work anyway, things that just plan look up at you from the page cross-eyed, and typos. All you have to do is go page by page and get rid of all the Post-Its. Seriously, that’s it. But what you don’t realize is that the longer you leave Post-Its in a manuscript, the heavier they get. It’s true. The molecular structure changes in the glue and everything.
And then once you take the Post-Its out of the manuscript, you will not be able to crumple them up and throw them away. Even though they’re completely blank, they’ve been activated. They might be needed. All this time your sweet beloved manuscript has been addicted to you and is about to experience withdrawal from your intoxicating talent, and therefore those Post-Its are like its nicotine patches. So hang on to them for a few days in case you just need a little fix. Or, I mean, your book needs a fix. Whatever. It’s okay.