When you tell people you're writing a book, the horror stories start. No one under forty gets published, you might as well wait. You have to know someone or you'll never get published. You need an MFA/PhD to get published. No one will take you without an agent. Agents won't rep you unless you're published. Outline? No, it's too contrived. No outline? You'll have to rewrite the entire book~no one ever writes a good book without an outline. Then people ask what you're writing and when you tell them, they get to tell you how no one is buying that. Or how that will never sell.
Next come the questions that mirror: when are you due? Haven't you had that kid yet? Are you still pregnant? They're: when's your book come out? Have you sold it yet? Are you done writing it yet?
Finally- no matter what you decide to do just like hospital or home birth- you will do it "wrong." Sign a contract with the big six? Wrong. There will be people standing in line to tell you why your choice was bad. Decide to Self publish? Wrong. There will be just as many standing in line to tell you how bad that is. Decide on a small press? OMG! How could you do that?
If you've read this far you either know exactly what I mean, or you suspect you'll understand someday.
My best advice to writers of all stages is this: Relax, be open to learning, be open to changing as much as you comfortably can and understand that everyone's journey is different. Which means that everyone and no one is right when they give you advice. It's your journey. Have fun with it. If it's not fun, it's not worth it. Cheers~