Oprah Winfrey’s advice is quite right, and has likely been uttered in many different ways by others.
Right now for me this means editing. Yes, I know my characters well, but do they show their true selves in their actions or do they say too much? To be real, alive and honest on the page they must behave like flesh and blood people. It’s what they don’t say that speaks louder than what they say out loud.
What I have to do right now is keep polishing this uncut gem until it’s ready for scrutiny by those in the big leagues that can take it to the next step in getting published.