I self-published my first novel because of the age of my father and wanting him to hold a book in his hand. He was so proud. However, I wanted more. It wasn't satisfying to me to just self-publish. I've let the book sit there as it needed more editing.
Since then, I'm not only editing it, but having it critiqued and edited. Then, I'll finish polishing and start sending cover letters or querying the sale of my novel.
I now work as an editor and have come a long, long way since the day I decided I wanted to write and write seriously. I'm here to stay and will work until I die on all the aspects of this challenging business. I've always been told if you have to work, work doing something you enjoy the most. I enjoy editing, writing, and reading.
I've also taken a course on writing short stories for magazines. This has been a very informative course, and has given me the self-confidence I have needed to press forward. "If you think you can, then you can," is a motto I was raised with. Positive affirmation comes to you when you have done all you can to receive the outcome you are seeking.
I'm still not professionally published, but someday I will because I won't give up. As soon as I attend my first convention, I will be ready to proceed with my interviews and chance to query.
Some people become overnight successes while others take years to achieve the same goal, but the secret is setting the goal and never deviating from it. If writing is what you really want to do, then don't let anyone or anything stop you until you succeed.
Success comes to those who are willing to do all it takes, learn all it takes, and never stop until you reach your set goal. Are you willing to go the distance?