A lot of writers want to write fiction books for a living. A disproportionate amount do. Despite this, most people who write a book will never get it published. In this elite club, 50% of books you see in stores will fail to make any profit. Most are never reprinted.
Publishers want books that they believe will sell. It’s that simple. If don’t want to please the masses, don’t plan on making a living off of being a novelist. I am speaking about fiction here.
It takes years for the people who do make it into the published world to get there…the traditional published world, that is.
If you’re depressed about this, than you are probably thinking about this the wrong way.
You have very likely defined yourself as a novelist or book writer or fiction writer…But why do you have to get your novel distributed to be a novelist? The key part of being a fiction author vs many other types of writing is about fame. And fame is not something that is easily attained or predictable. Many novelists can spend all day writing, have a day job paying the bills, but still chase what is essentially fame by trying to get published.
Just to be clear, I am not saying not to ever try to get published. (Who am I to dream of telling people that? This is the Internet. You could be Stephen King.) It’s just easy to lust too much after the fame.
Nothing stops you from exploring other types of writing while you’re developing plots and creating dialogue and basing one of your characters off that weird guy at your local gas station who is always drinking an orange soda when you walk in and chews on cigarette filters. And who knows, you may discover that writing for websites soothes your soul…or something like that.