Or at least that's what it feels like. I have finally taken the plunge and sent out my first agent queries for Web of the Dark Weaver. I toyed with the idea of sending the manuscript off to one of the few well-known publishers of fantasy in the US who still accept unsolicited submissions (Pyr, DAW and Baen), but I think I'll wait and see how it goes with the agents first. Baen are definitely an 'if all else fails' kind of thing: they publish some great fiction but they also take up to 18 months to respond.
So now I'm hovering between the excitement of realising I've finally done it, and the terror of wondering if they'll all hate it. My subconscious is like Carrie's mother, whispering "They're all gonna laugh at you!" part of the time. I'm keeping busy by planning and outlining the next novel, and critiquing for my writers' group friends and my critique partners, but there are times when panic sets in and I wonder why I chose to torture myself by becoming a writer.
How do you handle the waiting period after submissions?