Her road to publication was, as she put it, "a typical one." She wrote off and on for a few years, completing four and a half novels and receiving over 200 rejections before selling her first book. It was quite the story, complete with the births of three of her children, meeting Stephenie Meyer (also local), and some major ego shrinkage (her words, not mine :P). It really made me realize that even our favorite authors have had to face rejection, and some of them have had to face a lot of it. What matters is how badly you want it, and how hard you're willing to work.
I don't think I've told many people my story so far. I've been writing since the fourth grade, although I was telling stories verbally before that. I got serious about writing in high school after being inspired by Christopher Paolini. As I got older, I realized how lucky that guy is, and that he's not a very good role model for publication. I mean, for one thing, his books are blatant rip-offs of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. For another, his parents owned a small publishing company, so he got a publishing deal with no work at all.
Anyway, I slogged my way through a lot of half-finished stories throughout high school. The summer after my freshman year of college, I finally finished a novel. It was the best that I could do at the time, and I proudly shared it with my family and friends. They cheered me on, of course, telling me that it was awesome and that I totally had a future as an author. Looking back on that first draft, I can recognize that it was terrible, and that my best now is a heck of a lot better than my best then. The manuscript I'm currently working on is a new version of that book, but with lots more plot and character development and a few fresh takes.
I'm setting a new goal for myself in terms of my writing. I want to write 80,000 words (a completed manuscript for my current WIP) by the end of the year. Which means that if I haven't posted DONE on the first of January, you have my permission to ceaselessly berate me until I finish. I want to start querying agents next year, but to do that, I need to get my behind in gear and finish this thing. I've done a draft in three months before, so I'm confident I can do it again.
Anyone want to join me? What are your writing goals for the rest of the year?