There are several reasons to do this, but one of the most important reasons is that it keeps you from dwelling, obsessing, and wondering about the one that's been turned in.
A week ago Friday, I sent in the manuscript for For What It's Worth. I love this book. I think it's good. I really, REALLY want it published. But right now it's out of my hands.
The day after I took it in, I started The Husbandmaker. And I'm having a blast. I'm excited to write and I can't wait until I have the house in order enough to sit down and get at it. I won't deny that I've thought about For What It's Worth a few times this week and hoped my editor was enjoying it. But it wasn't the project that occupied my mind. It wasn't what had my creative juices flowing and it wasn't my focus.
I've thought about how this same principle applies in so many things. When we obsess or dwell on what's done, we rob ourselves of what could be happening right now.
If we spend all our time reliving the past--good or bad--we aren't really living in the present. We've all seen someone whose high school glory days keep them stuck. Uncle Rico comes to mind, but so do other people who aren't fictitious. They relive a past love, a heartbreak, the big game, or a great success from sometime in the past instead of creating and nurturing a new love, trying something new, or creating a new success.
Memories can be wonderful things. We can pull them out and enjoy them and they can make us smile. But then we need to tuck them back in our life's scrapbook, put them away, and LIVE our lives right now.