As long as I was the only person to see my manuscript, it was rather like Schrodinger's famous thought experiment with a cat, a box and a pellet of poison.
Until someone else read my novel, it was both a future best-seller and a permanent denizen of the slush pile. OK, the analogy is not perfect, since there are other possibilities somewhere in between best-seller and never-published. My point is that all potential futures were still theoretically possible.
Now I'm on the verge of opening Schrodinger's box, and it is both exhilarating and terrifying.