It takes hours of Herculean effort to finally get a story polished to the point that some kind editor finds it acceptable enough to respond with a contract. That response indicates that the work was not, like so many, a failure and doomed to sit in the darkness of a trunk forever. The response alone is ample reward for what was clearly a well-composed, structured gem of the genre. Pat on the back, cheers, and dancing follows before the writer must return to the electronic anvil and pound out the next speculative masterpiece as the pleasant glow of success continues.
That is, until the galleys arrive.
You read through them and are devastated. Clearly whoever prepared the galleys screwed up the sentence structure, substituted inappropriate words in some places, misspelled others, and clearly randomly missed the stellar punctuation. You experience feelings of being violated, abused, and hurt that some ignorant lackey could so interfere with an obviously well-crafted story. With rightful indignation you vow to go through the galleys mistake by agonizing mistake against the clean submitted manuscript and reveal what that unskilled fool had done. The harsh words of a cover letter are forming as you proceed to the first error.
Hmmm, the galley seems to agree with the submission. All right, so maybe you made that minor mistake, You correct it and move on. At the second error you feel shame that you had so poorly chosen that word, when another would be so much better. You concede the point and correct that as well. Later and you blush that you structured a sentence so badly and scribble a better phrasing in the (virtual) margin.
And so it goes, page after page of correcting what you realize with growing horror were your own damn mistakes! The galley bleeds from wounds inflicted by your red pen as you try to undo the damage and bring the story to perfection you require. There was no abusive copy editor: You have been the perpetrator of these mistakes. The red ink makes clear where the necessary changes are needed, except in the process of corrections even better phrasing occurs.
Finally you return the much edited galleys, satisfied that you have avoided embarassment and polished the submission to gleaming perfection. Only to realize moments later that there were a few more things you should have done.....
Is a story ever finished?