There are three major steps to any creative process:
Most great ideas never make it past conception. Transforming a concept into something tangible takes courage. First drafts are invariable disappointing if not nausea-inducing. Reshaping that first creation into something worth sharing demands both humility and tenacity. It can take years. Really. All this for a proverbial egg that may never reach the basket of Amazon, Chapters, or Barnes and Noble.
Do you have it in you? Likely. Don't underestimate yourself.
Getting one's work out into the world deserves a similar amount of effort. You are trying to find another person who will care about your creation as much as you do. Take time to learn about the publisher or agency that could one day be representing your work.
- Research their interests and reputation.
- Relate to them professionally and in accordance with their guidelines. Give every indication that you've completed step 1.
- Respond to their requests promptly.
- Repeat steps 1-3 as often as necessary.
I've come to think of it as basket weaving, this hunt for representation. It's a deceptively difficult, potentially boring, yet highly essential skill. As for my novel, I've just had another request for a full manuscript. Yippee! There's hope for my egg yet!