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Last week, I finished writing the most recent draft of the novel I've been playing around with for three years now. I know I'll need to hire a copy editor to work out the finer points of grammar and punctuation, but in terms of story and characters, I really feel like this is the draft. I'm ready to start sending this thing out into the world. Even if it comes back to me with 100 rejection letters, that's okay. Why? Because I'm already working on my next project.
One piece of advice that gets repeated again and again is to keep working and writing while you wait to hear back about pieces you submit. I've never heard anyone say that you ought to wait to start work on your second manuscript until the first one has a publisher.
It's good advice, too. It takes the worry out of the wait (at least some of it!). If you are already working on the new book and falling in love with your new characters, you don't have time to sit and agonize over what's happening with the last ones.
So yes, I'm in the market for a good copy editor and I'm preparing myself to start writing query letters, but I'm also planning and outlining my next novel. When I'm ready to hit send on the queries, I won't have much time to agonize because my new characters will be calling to me.