I sent out a wave of queries in November, and promptly got doused by a wave of rejections and one request for a full. Which ended in a rejection. So I went back to the manuscript. I read and I researched and I thought and considered. And I came up with a whole mess of deep, structural revisions that I needed to make to the story and to my writing, and started to psyche myself up for the effort.
And then, out of the blue, a goddess of an agent responded to my query (a month after I sent it, which is totally reasonable, but explains how I got into this pickle) with a request for a full.
Rule #1 in queries, don't send your query until your manuscript is ready. So, I had to *very delicately* communicate to her my desire to take just a little time on the manuscript without appearing off the bat like an unprofessional rube. Did I mention she's a goddess? She took it in stride, very graciously, and I worked my ASS OFF for 2.5 weeks and sent it to her. Fingers crossed.
In the meantime, it's nice to be able to start to feel like a human again. Agent Nathan Bransford asked in his blog what's the hardest thing about being a writer. I was amazed by how many responders said it was the writing, in some way or other, that was the hardest thing. I don't get that. For me, writing a story is bliss. Even revising it over and over is bliss, because by then, I'm coming to understand the story and the characters and why they matter and I feel like I'm toiling in service to something outside of myself, something greater than me, and I'm the lucky SOB who gets to discover it from the creative consciousness of the universe and get intimate with it and be used by it as a mouthpiece.
The hardest part is the guilt over how much it takes out of me to write, on top of my day job, and the hollowed-out leftovers of a wife and mom that my family has to put up with for those periods when I'm deep into it.
And if this story goes nowhere, I might be selfish enough to write another one anyway and try the whole thing all over again with a new and completely different book. I love writing that much. And I have a file of ideas that I've been tinkering with over the years just waiting for my attention.