After having written, written some more, edited, edited some more, making the newbie writer's mistake of thinking I was ready to query agents (boy, was I not!), letting it sit for a few weeks, rewriting and editing it well over 100 times (and in the middle of this, again thinking I was ready to query - not!), stripping out four whole chapters and portions of other chapters that added depth to the characters but added nothing to the story, letting it sit for three months, and then polishing and polishing and polishing it, I can honestly say - it is finally ready!
I mean truly, really ready. And I can say that, because I feel good when I say it. No matter how many other times I thought I was done, I never felt like I had finished it.
It hit home just how far I had come with this novel, when I went back and reread my very first draft. It was the same story, but it wasn't. The first 75 versions read more like what I would have been proud to turn in, in high school lit class. This final version reads like a book.
Now to begin earnestly looking for an agent.
The best part of all, my story block is gone. During the almost two years it took me to write, edit, and polish this book, bits of other stories would pop into my mind every now and then. I would hurry up and type them down so I wouldn't lose them, and then I would continue on with my work-in-progress. But one of these kept niggling at my brain and wouldn't let go. I ended up writing the first four chapters and then discovered it was a trilogy. So, I also began the first chapters of the next two books. But I could never get any farther in the story. Until now. Now I can see the plot of the first book unfolding.
I had hoped I wouldn't be a one-book writer. Turns out, I'm not.