(This is a hopeful post.)
I have been given to understand that after one submits a novel, it goes and sits on someone’s desk, or probably remains in their inbox, for a while. Eventually it is moved to another pile, or e-reader. Six months later one hears back, only to be told that it will take another six months to be read; at which point it will most probably be rejected. This is at a publisher’s. If it is a literary agent, it usually takes less time. Then one repeats the process.
Meanwhile, one has:
1. Written one’s PhD dissertation.
2. Learned German.
3. Edited a medieval manuscript and submitted it for publication.
4. Read the complete works of Hans Christian Andersen.
5. Learned the basics of stained glass, needlepoint, how to blog, and how to make ricotta cheese at home.
6. Started to re-learn German.
7. Written one’s second novel.
Although as it happens I’m still working on number 7.