I thought about those years and decided it might be fun to break them down.
So here's my life (in mostly chronological order):
-Wrote really crappy stuff
-Let family and friends read some of it (much to my embarrassment)
-Learned a lot
-Finished first book
-Sent 2 queries
-Realized it was awful and put it away
(hopefully forever--no one should ever have to read that book!)
-Finished second book
-Had some requests and a few invitations to rewrite
-Met writing group
-Signed with lovely agent
-Started several new books
-Went to my first writing conference with my writing group girls
-Met many writers online and in real life
-Had horrific pregnancy
-Had sick baby
-Finished first draft of third book
-Shelved third book
-Wrote first draft of fourth book
-Went to second writing conference and met my agent
(who is even more lovely in person)
-Let fourth book simmer while working on fifth book
-Made plans to finish fourth and/or fifth book before 2012
And that's where I'm at.
I think if someone told me when I started writing my first book that I'd have to write at least four more before I saw one published I would have been discouraged.
But, looking back, I'm not discouraged at all. It's been a wonderful four years. I've learned a lot and plan to learn a lot more over the next four. And, you know, hopefully sell something someday.
How long have you been writing? How have those years shaped your perception of writing and publishing?