After 11 months, I have finally reached "the end" of my novel. I'm not QUITE done, but it's close enough for me to celebrate today!
I got my critiques back from the contest I entered, and I want to look them over and make some minor changes. Other than that, I'm ready to start putting together the Pitch Package to send out to agents.
This is the scary part for me. I got some great feedback from the contest, but I still don't know what individual agents are going to think of this novel. Moreover, there's no way for me to know what the market it looking for. I don't "write to the market" as an author, but I do consider what's "selling" and sometimes speculate about possible trends. I'd like to think that I'm ahead of the coming curve, but as an industry outsider, there's no real way of knowing.
The best advice I ever received, and the best advice I can give, is to write what you love. That's what I'm doing. That's why this journey has been so much fun, even when it's been hard work. There's still a lot more work to do, even though the editing is almost over. For this stage, at least.
The reason this post has a question mark in the title is because there's never REALLY an end in this business. Unless a career is ending. There are only two places to go from here since I refuse to give up. One is to move forward with publication. That's something that I'm going to strive for with every book I finish. The second place I can go is "back to the beginning." And that means starting a new project. That's on the horizon for sure, and I'm already thinking of new ideas for the next book.
This isn't the end by any means, but it's a milestone that I've worked toward for a year. It's nice to be able to start querying again. And the next step is only moments away.