If you're a writer, you have definite ups and downs. And few start out with a perfect sale. Generally, there are rejections, then some good rejections and perhaps, then, if the fates be with you, a sale. A must read is The Writing Business is a Killer: Advice from the Trenches at Murder She Writes. A big fat list of hefty players say "making it" ain't easy. Tess Gerritson, Lisa Gardner, etc. all have plenty to say about their pre-pub days. Quite the little pkg of interviews that says how they marketed, if they had an agent, how many rejections, etc., all good info for writers who think breaking into the business is easy cruising.
It took me about 7 years to finally meet an agent and then my first sale. I like to think that living remotely and without Internet in those dark shaky days handicapped me. The truth is, I didn't have a clue and only when I hooked up with serious published writers and went to a conference, did I begin to understand that this business is TOUGH.
Reportedly only one quarter of all ideas from the most highly published writers are accepted. Reportedly, an editor's desk can have 10,000 manuscripts waiting to be read. Folks, it is tough, but not undo-able. The ability to take and use editorial input is a real plus. Callouses that protect your inner fragility are essential. Regimentation essential, also. And a good support system.
Do try to check out this post with interviews from the greats, midlists, etc. Great info at Murder She Writes.