Jon Sealy has a short essay at The Millions about his journey as an author. Check it out!
I had five years of mostly failures: two books with two agents didn’t sell, and meanwhile a new crop of dazzling debut novelists took the literary stage. Now, my second novel is about to launch on a press I founded, and I’m dreading the inevitable question of what to do to get from young scribbler with an idea to a capital-w Writer on Book Tour.
Maybe, don’t do it.
I’m 36 years old now and have been writing seriously for half my life. In that time, the publishing world is a different game from the one I started playing in college. None of the old rules apply, and I suspect any advice I might offer a student will be irrelevant by the time they find their own way.