Submissions and more submissions.
Successful writers always like to tell stories about how many times they were rejected before they finally got their break. In that tradition, I'm accumulating rejections now for Rose & Jade. Got a pretty good collection so far.
Everybody gives advice about perseverance, tenacity, sticking with it, and all that. The "I got rejected a thousand times before I was published" stories come from all sides, from your local authors all the way up to your multi-million selling giants. Successful authors share these tales in order to give heart to starting authors, such as myself. And it's good, because it helps me keep going.
But at the conference I went to recently, one writer who was giving a presentation looked out over the room full of agents and editors, and he said something quite candid: "There isn't one agent that I wouldn't want to run over if I saw them on the street."
Because being rejected is no goddamned fun.
Anyway, the cycle continues, and writing continues. I'm going to a critique group this week to see if it'll be a good fit for me. I joined the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers association. I have the outline for a new novel churning along, and I'm probing the conceptual approach for a novelization of Thunderstruck. I'm thinking point of view style chapters, as in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, might be the way to go.