Fifteen years ago when I wrote my first novel, I was very afraid that someone "out there" would come across my work and steal the precious ideas therein. This book represented my greatest writing effort, hours and hours of sweat, revision, confusion, perseverance. What happened to this book was of paramount importance. What if? What if? were the questions that chewed at me like horseflies.
Then I heard some farm wisdom that changed my thinking entirely.
"It doesn't matter how much milk you spill, as long as you keep the cow."
Dear writer, you are the cow, and whatever happens to your work is not so very important, so long as you keep that cow producing. Go get another pail.