I can hardly believe what I'm learning. Two essay classes and a heavy course for structure snd story arc have kept me stepping. I've gotten so much kind help from invisible classmates in my on-line classes, who lead me through the maze of submissions and query writing. They answer questions about the nuances of the publishing world and then my stumbling around the net has pulled me into wondrous places like a website called Author!Author! Where Anne is blowing out a full college course on everything you will ever need to know about how to write it, how to submit it, how to write anything at all. Go there now. Everything she writes there you need if you write. All her stuff is lengthy because she's churning out so much info. So much that is useful, needful. I can hardly sing her raises loud enough.
Pay attention to Sheila Bender and Writing It Real. Her patient, targeted instruction is amazing and her editing is unsurpassed. Need anything at all to be edited? Find her website. I write essays in her classes online as a discipline and as instruction on how to write tight, making every word count. consequently I choose parts of this memoir as material to develop in essay form to sharpen and polish. It works so well.
I can look back at my first efforts and groan before I laugh, recognizing how far I've come under her sensitive patient hand. There is nothing at all scary about her, nothing ever harsh or negative.
What I know now is that those essays need to be sent out en masse and everywhere appropriate until someone says a resounding yes to my work.
What I can see is that all that time and money invested in study and practice has yielded writing that stands sturdily on strong legs.