After five years of effort (on and off, mostly on), the first printed proof of the book is supposed to arrive in the mail today. I can hardly stand the suspense. I published the Humanism for Parents book, but that was totally different. It was non-fiction, which is monumentally easier to write than fiction (for me) and it was a topic that I could write about off the top of my head. The novel took 1.5 years of research before I could even start and then a little over half-a-year of reviews for me to realize my "craft" wasn't good enough. Then two years of higher education before I felt comfortable rewriting the novel.
In many ways, this book is my single biggest accomplishment in my life to-date. I've done hundreds of projects (technical/software), lived overseas twice, raised four kids, have three advanced degrees and my BS, and this book beats them all.
What is making it feel like such an accomplishment is that writing fiction is just not something I am a natural at. And yet... this book was so important to me that I ignored that, wrote it, and then went and did the work to become better. Now I am at the point that people see the first chapter and there is no doubt in their mind that I am a serious, professional writer. That, to me, is an accomplishment for someone as analytical as me, and I'm finding that I am quite proud of it.
See http://curley.me/propositum or http://fb.me/propositum.novel