Okay, I admit it, I watch The Simpsons. I was one of the skeptics who said they'd never last, but they have and I am a fan. My favourite episode has to be the one I saw the other night. Marge meets a writer at the public library and asks what kind of training you need to be a writer. The woman tells her that she needs to take courses. She'd taken one at the local continuing education program that lasted a whole hour and was now a published romance author.
Marge dives in and writes a romance based around a painting in her livingroom of Moby Dick and "what she knows." The instant she completes it and sends it to a publisher, they love it and print it. Of course, we all know this is for the sake of a 30 minute cartoon. The fallout from neighbours speculating on who characters are based on leads to a confrontation between Homer and Flanders on top of a cliff beside the ocean.
I don't think any of my novels will end in any confrontations between friends, family or neighbours, but it was a fun view of someone who wants to be a writer. Marge demanded her time to write from her family and stuck to it until she had a manuscript. She sent it in without hesitation. Lucky her, the first person she sent it to loved it and sold it all over town. She didn't even have to research agents or publishers, nor did she have to face rejection.
We don't live in a cartoon world.
We get rejections.
We get readers and editors who tell us "this doesn't work, make me love it."
For every writer who gets their "first" novel published, there are several practice manuscripts in the closet that could say otherwise and a stack of rejections to keep them company.