I'm a Labor & Delivery nurse in my so-called "real" life. In obstetrics, we refer to a woman who has already had babies (one or more) as a multip. They are the most desireable patients, because they know what to do, their bodies have proven themselves and things tend to go more smoothly and quickly. One of the doctors I work with used to joke that it was her life's ambition to be a multip (she is now).
In the record industry, an artist's second album is often called their sophomore album. I honestly don't know if that term is used in publishing, but it's certainly the same idea.
I want to have my first book published and be shopping a second one. I've even heard some agents say that they are harder on their slushpiles than published books. To get out of the pile and onto the shelves, you have to stand out, be amazing, wow everyone with your first page, first paragraph, first sentence. You have to have an amazing query letter, a synopsis that doesn't suck and a book that doesn't need a complete overhaul.
My first impression has to be better than a published author's second, third, or forty-eighth.
So what I want now is to be making a second impression. That's my new goal. Obviously publishing my first novel is a huge part of that process, but now I realize that getting that is a stepping stone. I want a career.
I want to be able to pitch a weird idea and have my agent and my publisher nod enthusiastically and tell me it'll sell.
Is that so much to ask?