When I was in my twenties, writing a book/short stories/poems/articles was a process of anticipation, followed by despair (no-one ever answered in less than several months) followed by rejection. Or acceptance but with a load of qualifying conditions like 'could you make it shorter/better or longer/lighter and could the heroine be blond and more bubbly?' When my daughter was born I had had some success but the weight of crushing rejections was heartbreaking. I stopped writing because my daughter was disabled, and I did intend to get back to it, BUT I was glad to give up all the rejections. I was successful as a parent, I was largely unsuccessful as a writer. My acceptance rate for creative work was about 10%. I did get a lot of articles published, but they didn't count to me, they didn't seem important (except that they usually came with a useful cheque). Now, I've stepped on that merry-go-round again, with a load of people reading (and probably mostly rejecting) the book. Kind fellow bloggers have warned me: rejections come first, and fast. Deals are often preceded by questions and criticism. One was asked to change her book from a multiple third to a single first person POV (which means the character has to be at all the action, or told about it, to maintain the story). If I do get a deal, it will all happen fast, and can't be predicted.
So I'm sat here, concentrating on the next book, which isn't tainted by all this possible rejection. It's all mine. I've read it over the weekend and a sharper, darker second draft with a stronger story is forming in my head. My children's book is growing fast, and for fun, and a holiday is two weeks away.
Thank you to all the kind and knowledgeable people that have been supporting me. The blogging community of writers is a generous and creative one. I'll let you know what happens.