I just addressed the last twenty-two comments in my manuscript, and edited the "But" beginning out of 124 sentences. I will read it out loud to myself and send it to two friends for a final proofreader. Then I'm ready to query.
I'm appreciating the hopefullness of this point in the writing process. The manuscript is as good as I know how to make it. I have my agent list and query letters ready. There is so much potential. I can spend hours daydreaming about getting requests for more pages, requests for the full manuscript, phone calls offering representation based on the first ten pages.
You can guess where is this going, right? I know those are pipe dreams. The average number of queries for traditionally published books is something like seventy-five, and those were apparently good enough to find not only agents but publishers. This elation will almost certainly be tempered by rejections over the year that I've given myself to find an agent. After that, I have a few alternatives in mind.
Meanwhile, I'm going to appreciate the glow that comes with a manuscript that I can finally call finished, even if it took over six years to get here. I'm also going to enjoy planning my next novel and getting to participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time.