...about letting your manuscript cool down. I read that advice many times, and yet never believed it. I have one novel that is unpublishable, not because it is a bad story, but because I hawked it round nearly every agent/publisher in the UK when it was barely out of nappies. A couple of years ago I thought I had a fantasy story ready (almost) to send out. Then I got a job offer that involved emigrating to Australia, and unsurprisingly, I lost focus on the writing for a while. I was really cross, because I'd begun to feel I was getting some momentum established in the UK, however slight; met a couple of agents, attended some cons, you know the sort of thing I mean. Anyway, all that vanished in the whirl of emigrating, and it was only a few months ago that I finally sat down and took out the manuscript. OMG. Suffice to say I now have a new manuscript that is at least 150% better. Distance, both literal and figurative, has enabled me to take a much clearer look at it. I can murder my darlings with only the most minimal pangs, and regard my characters (finally) with the necessary detachment to make them fulfil the story's needs rather than my own. Two years ago I was distraught at having to stop work on it, and now I'm so relieved I did. I hope, if I become a published writer, that the experience will make me better able to turn out good work without this sort of delay, but it has been a learning experience that I wouldn't want to be without. So to all you other hopefuls out there, champing at the bit...sometimes the advice you read is right!