So for the last six months, I've been querying. There have been highs and there have been lows, but I have come to realize one thing.
Make sure you have the right focus.
So what does that mean? Well . . . you can make it your goal to (a) become a NY Times best-selling author on your FIRST novel (b) have 50 agents not only request to see fulls, but offer representation (c) get a FREAKING HUGE advance that blows not only your socks off, but your neighbor's socks off as well (d) all of the above
We all wish, right?
But think about those goals -- are any of those things in your control? Not really. So let's look at some more realistic goals.
 Write the best book you can possibly write. Then let it sit for a month, and go back and make that book even better.
 Attend writing conferences, read books about writing, and work with other writers to learn more about what you can do better.
 Make every sentence better. Make the prose in your book so masterful that people want to read it out loud.
 Think you have a great beginning? Experiment with something new -- something that might work better. [See more specifics on that challenge here]
Notice how all those goals had one thing: focusing on your craft. Let's repeat that. FOCUS on making your writing better today than it was yesterday. Make each sentence not only shine, but make each book a legacy of how you grew to become a better writer. And never end your personal quest to shine.
Becoming a better writer has become my goal for 2011. What's yours?