I love the movie "What about Bob?" with Bill Murray. Remember the book in the movie - Baby Steps? Well, not a bad thing to remember. If you just keep moving, even if only with baby steps, you eventually get somewhere.
Yesterday I took another step. An agent asked to see my full manuscript. Wow. When I finish writing this I'll check it over (one more time) and send it out. But last night I kept thinking about all the "baby" steps I've taken.
Finish a book. Well, I've done that four times now. However, I believe this one is the one. The others were probably just practice (I know, ouch.)
Join and submit to a real critique group. (ouch, ouch, ouch to the thirty-third power)
Attend writers conferences
Talk to agents,
Send query letters to agents (one page asking the agent to look at your work. pretty please)
Get an agent to ask to see 3 chapters (gotten this far with several agents)
Get an agent to ask to see a full manuscript.
I have a writing from Rainer Maria Rilke from 1903 hanging on my bulletin board about not searching for answers. It ends like this, "Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."