John Scalzi uses a baseball metaphor to describe being an author. I don’t understand baseball, but I do understand the sentiment.
Publishing a novel is, for most people, a lot of long torturous pain followed by tiny incremental achievements. For naturally catastrophising pessimists like yours truly, it’s easier to get distracted by the mountain in front–and it is a very, very big mountain, perhaps an infinite one–than it is to look backwards and realise how far up the slope you’ve climbed.
As my family and friends constantly remind me, in 2013 I was one of the 0.02% of queries submitted to Nelson that ended up with representation. That was the peak of one foothill. For 2014, I’m currently focusing on the next two. 2015 will have more, then hopefully–by some combination of talent, perseverance, and sheer blind luck–so will 2016, 2017… 2020? 2033?
Slowly up the mountain I go.