Sommer Leigh wrote:So, I've noticed the boards have gotten aweful quiet lately ...
Funny you said that, Sommer; I'd been thinking the same thing. I'd pop in, there'd be nothing new, I'd wander off... and then I got busy with other things and kept forgetting to wander back. Now when I came back, suddenly it looks like the boards have gotten busyish again.
As for my advice to new writers, I'm a big proponent of Heinlein's Five/Sawyer's Six/My own eight:
2. Finish what you start.
3. Refrain from constantly fiddling with it.
4. Put it on the market (eg. start querying it).
5. Keep it on the market until it is sold.
6. Start working on something new.
7. Have patience. [Every stage of writing/publishing takes longer than you think it should.]
Also: Get a critique partner. Or two. There's only so far you can take your manuscript yourself, no matter how closely you examine it or how much time you spend on it; a good CP can help you get it the rest of the way.
But: Listen to advice from others, do your research, and weigh what everyone says carefully... but in the end, go with your gut and be true to yourself. Only you know how your story is supposed to be.