Well, it's the 14th of September and I've only done 6 hours of work on Mender this month. I'm going to be busy these next few weeks if I want to make it to 50 hours.
I've sent out seven queries so far, and gotten one rejection. Submitting a novel is more time consuming than I realized, what with the personalizing of query letters and tweaking of sample pages and crossing of fingers.
As I suspected, I didn't get picked for Pitch Wars. Then last week I threw my hat into the ring for Pitch Madness, a 12-hour twitter pitch event in which agents star their favorite pitches to invite the pitchees to query. (I joined twitter just to participate!) I was starred by two agents, both of whom were on my list, so I am thrilled and scampered to send them queries. It may well be that nothing comes of it, but it's nice to get a little encouragement.
Basically, I've been doing exactly what you're not supposed to do when you're submitting: obsessing over submitting rather than falling in love with a new project.
But no longer. Thanks to work I did on this project last year, I have the preliminary character work done enough. Now I'm moving on to two weeks of worldbuilding, which is where I really need to spend the hours. Alternate Historical is tricky-- there are major diversions in my story world from real history (England has been conquered by France, New England is the site of the exiled British monarchy, relations with the native peoples take a very different (but still problematic) trajectory... plus there's, y'know, magic...), but I still don't want to have anything really jarring with the time period (1850s) without a good reason. Plus there are a bunch of cultures making up my New England kingdom-- English, Dutch, French, Wampanoag, Abenaki, and Pequot.
It would be easy to get intimidated by the research and get hung up here, but I've learned from EN and TOB that you don't really know what in-depth worldbuilding you need until you've written a draft. So, two weeks to get the broad strokes down. Then two weeks for plot, and two weeks for whatever needs a little more attention. Then NaNoWriMo!