I know what it's like to be cut open, then sewed back closed. The anesthesia is so very nice, but once it wears off, recovery is zero fun. Probably the worst recovery I've ever had started off with a broken finger. Followed by two pins shot into my hand with a power-nail-gun, then yanked out 4 weeks later by a pair of pliers--and NO anesthesia. After that it was months and months of painful therapy to recover the movement in my fingers.
Not the funnest experience I've ever been through.
Which is similar to how I'm feeling right now with my current wip. One of the top literary agents on my dream list of agents actually requested my book last month--yes, my book!!! I was thrilled. Elated. Couldn't sleep I was that nervous/excited about it. Then, when I finally did hear back, deflated.
But the rejection came with some great feedback. Feedback that paralleled a few things some of my critiquing friends had also mentioned earlier, only at the time, I didn't want to cut my ms open to make all the changes it would take to really make it better. I ended up only applying little Band-Aids here and there to "fix" the problems. Bad idea. Especially since it lost me the chance to work with an incredible agent.
So, I'm going at it right this time. I've taken a good hard look at my book and am in the process of doing some real fixing, beginning with Chapter 1. It's a laborious and painful process, but I'm getting there and learning so much as a result. I've been told many times that even if a book never gets published, it's never a wasted effort. Which is 100% true. My knowledge has increased with each and every book I've written. But still, after all my hard work, I'd be very, very, VERY sad if nothing comes of it. :)