The publishing industry is a heartbreaking industry to get into. When you start, the only advice people will give you is, "Be prepared to be rejected." And unless luck smiles right in your face, you will get rejected, over, and over, and over. So why do it? Why do you set yourself up for this?
Personally, I write for me. I write because someone's voice gets stuck in my head and starts narrating and won't shut the fuck up. The only way I get silence him or her is to write their words, and so I do. And as I write, I get emotionally involved with these people. I fall in love with the protagonists, I hate the antagonists. I get hurt when they get hurt, I want to protect them. I write because I love those voices in my head, and I want their stories to be read by someone else.
So once the story is written, I usually send it to friends or to my sister. They find missing words I got too excited about and just skipped over, misspells, the incorrect use of barely vs barley. They find these things for me, I correct them. Sometimes, I'm blessed with messages like this:
Ok, Steph... Your newest novel Firestarters is one that I want to buy asap... Please let me know when you get that published because after 116 pages last night I found it quite a book. It keeps me wanting to know what happens with everyone with every page. Was hard to stop reading actually. Thanks for the opportunity and I will surely finish it tonight."
The second message was corrected, and he did in fact finish the novel in one night. A novel aimed for Young Adults was read by a 25 (ish) year old male, who loved it.
It's things like this (the people telling me they love my work, the people saying they want a printed version) that I push through all the rejections, I re-edit, and I don't give up. First, I write for me. Then I edit for my friends. And then, I submit to get published because my characters deserve to be heard.
Thanks for listening.