I signed up for Writer's Market to hunt for publishers seeking unagented manuscripts. Wow, that was a waste of dough. I ticked "Unagented Manuscripts," and 80% of the search results didn't even match the query.
There also weren't that many to begin with.
So I canceled my trial and got a refund and picked up the same info from blogs (for free) around the web. None of the info was very promising, for a multitude of reasons. (If you're interested, what did look most promising was Tor, DAW, Baen's, and one or two others which one hardly needs a forty-buck subscription to Writer's Market to find.)
Those days are over for me. O-V-E-R.
It doesn't mean I don't come out without a blue eye, or several missing teeth.
And now ... the Fear: that Gut-Wrenching Horror-Terror I Suffer From:
I think part of the problem is that I'm scared. That's what blocked me last year, my own fears. It wasn't easy facing up to them with the short stories, but I no longer feel like I've been knocked out for the count whenever I receive a rejection. A novel is a much longer project. I dread spending months on a project only to be told, "Hey, look, it actually really sucks. I mean, like, badly. Like, your work is terrible. It is just awful, horrible. Give up. Stop writing. Go beg on the street instead, go sweep up trash. Anything! Just, please, whatever you do, don't ever send us another story again!"
And when things get tough (like now), I'll just remind myself: That's the Biz.