A large part of being a writer—whether you’re published or not—is working to improve, to perfect your craft. One of the biggest obstacles for many beginning writers doing that is that they sometimes get so obsessed with getting published that they forget about the writing.
It took me twenty years of striving to make my first professional fiction sale. I know how you feel—I felt it. I was desperate to get published and that’s part of why it took me so long. I kept getting distracted from perfecting my craft. From writing and writing and writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. From reading and studying the best (and worst) writers I could. I was more obsessed with seeing my name in print than I was with becoming a better writer.
I didn’t figure that out until I was in my thirties. Co-incidentally that’s when I started getting published.
Once I became a published writer I spent even more time perfecting my craft. When you’re a pro you start getting editorial letters and dealing with copyeditors and proofreaders. All of whom work to make your books as good as they can be by, yes, pushing you to further perfect your craft.
If you think that perfecting your craft is some annoying thing people who don’t want to publish you tell you just to keep you out of print, you’re wrong. They’re telling you because it’s at the heart of being a writer. No publisher worth their salt publishes a first draft. Those professionally published books, even the ones you hate, were edited and rewritten and copyedited and proofed.
If you are unprepared to work to make your book better and to improve your writing skills then maybe you don’t really want to be a writer?