Before we start the great NaNoRevMo in February, (NaNoWriMo org does their revision program in the summer- I don't want to wait that long so if February doesn't work for you, do theirs in the summer), please read the sign.
Rejection is important. Painful, yes, but important. Just because you finished your novel doesn't mean it's good. Actually, because you wrote with determined speed, it's probably crap. If you submit it to an editor or agent now, not only would you get rejected, you'd be the butt of office jokes because it's that bad.
Don't despair. Rejection is the natural order of the universe.
If anyone knows about rejection and failure, it's Thomas Edison. He racked up more failures and had his ideas rejected by more people than Stephen King or Dr. Suess- and even me. Sirenz had over 60 rejections. Today, four books have my name on them. I know the pain of rejection. Sure, I hate it, sometimes think it's unjustified, but see above again.
This is the lesson I learned, that every writer learns. Or artist, inventor, musician, student, businessman, etc. Even when you finish your NaNoWriMo revision, you have only begun the process. You will revise multiple times; until you're satisfied, the critique group/beta reader is satisfied, an agent is satisfied, the editor is satisfied.
It's going to hurt, I won't lie to you. There were times I threw stuff, cried, yelled, and vowed to snub everyone who rejected me once I became a famous author.
But I kept writing and revising and imagining and learning. I didn't stop. You can't if you're serious about writing. I've met too many people who say that they were too busy right now to finish the revisions, or the editor/agent doesn't know what they're talking about, or it's good enough, I'll just self-publish. (The good self-published books are thoroughly edited or they don't sell so that's not an option to skip more revisions.) Currently, I'm revising four novels. None of them have stayed the same since I wrote that first draft. Characters were removed, changed gender, given bigger roles. Places were changed, dialogue shortened or lengthened, events were put in or they were deleted, word counts increased or drastically reduced.
This is all waiting for you. Embrace it. Learn from it. Use it. Accept it.
Keep writing, keep the faith. Next week- a list of books to help you edit your manuscript so save your holiday gift $$; you'll want some of these.
Have a Merry Christmas, a wonderful New Year, a Happy Holiday for the path you follow--