Over and over I read cautionary tales posted by authors and agents about how long it takes to get published. The fifth book seems to be the magic formula for a lot of authors...that's the one they finally had success with because they kept writing and kept learning and finally got good enough to write something publishable. They look back on their earlier efforts with indulgent affection but they know that the agents who rejected them were right to do so.
Here's my problem. I love this book. I didn't include any overt references but it was inspired by some closely held personal beliefs that are dear to me. I truly don't believe I'll write a story I like better than the one I'm working on now. That doesn't mean I'm a one trick pony (maybe I am) but I've already written another book that was fun to write and I might go back to later but it really isn't as good or compelling as this book. The story is there, the characters are well developed, the length is right, and the writing is coming up to snuff with polishing. I want to get my baby prettied up enough that other people can love it, too.
It has not been my life long dream to be a professional writer and I can honestly say that this did not start out as a quest for publication. It was just a story that captured my imagination and turned out well enough for ambition to bite me. It's a good story. I'm terrified that since this story is the one that popped fully formed into my head like Aphrodite springing from the foam of the sea that I lack the technical skill to give it the chance it deserves.
I don't want to just get a book published. I want to get THIS book published.