Welcome to WikiTree, Enoch!
Experienced contributors will advise that you shouldn't even think about uploading 17,900 people in a Gedcom. Use your genealogy software to create a small Gedcom -- no more than about 50 people or so -- for a specific family or branch of your family tree. Upload that. The experience will help you learn how the process works, so you can plan your future uploads wisely.
And while you are waiting for the Gedcom-upload-and-approval process (which can take a few days), please continue building your family tree by creating profiles, adding sources, etc. But don't create profiles for people included in your gedcom upload, as the Gedcom will create brand-new profiles for those people (and your manually created profiles will become duplicates).