Way back when .... before our trip to the UK ... I made 5 copies of the first 3 chapters of my book manuscript. I bundled them up, along with lovingly-prepared query letters, and sent them off to 5 carefully chosen agents whom I thought might be convinced to represent my work.
Upon return from the UK, I already had two rejected copies waiting for me. Since then, I've received one more. So in theory, there's two agents out there who are still considering my work.
However, I've decided it's time to start working on the next book. I need to read through the last manuscript one more time as a whole, tidy up any loose ends or inconsistencies ... but it's basically finished. It's not perfect, but I've reached my revising limit.
So I don't want to just sit around and wait for it to get rejected many, many, many times. I've decided to start brainstorming and working on the next manuscript. Which is exciting and scary at the same time.
Once your rough draft of a book is done, your main characters and chain of events is pretty much set. You can change a few things here and there, but the story as a whole probably isn't going to change very radically. And every time you chose an aspect of your characters' personalities or a situation they'd encounter, that meant there were numerous other personality traits and situations you'd never be able to use.
So I'm excited to start again with a clean slate. The brainstorming is the fun part, where anything is possible. It's the actual writing, dealing with a blank page, that is intimidating me again.