Everyone's journey through life is different, and it goes the same with publishing. No one way is right, they are all just different.
I've been reminded of this recently. It's easy to see the success of others and wonder when yours will come. You may feel resentful or jealous towards those reaching their goals before you. That's okay. It's what you do with those emotions that's important. It's okay to step away and take the time you need to work through your feelings. It's an emotional road. I don't think it's cool to make other people feel guilty of their success though.
As I've mentioned before, my start in broadcasting was not easy. I was rejected by many radio stations, repeatedly. With the ability to prerecord breaks, those overnight spots that were usually given to new announcers to hone their skills have become practically nonexistent. It's a hard industry to break into especially with some bigger stations simulcasting the same programs on all their stations.
But guess what? I still got a job in broadcasting.
My journey was different from others I graduated with. Some got jobs right out of school. Some of those jobs I would have loved (especially the one at Much Music) and, yes, I was jealous. Some people I graduated with never got into radio or television.
My path was paved with lots of volunteering, freelancing, and finally a part-time job at Broadcast News (now Canadian Press). From there, I got a full time job as a news director at a radio station. It took several years, but I did it.
The path to being published is the same. You have to get your hands dirty, do the work, and keep going even when you feel like packing it in...and there will be many times you consider giving up.
I have author friends who were published by small presses, and I'm delighted for them. I have a close friend who got an agent and is out on submission, and I'm thrilled for her. I love celebrating with them and hearing about their successes. As publicist for Pen and Kink Publishing, I help put other people's books into the world, and it's wonderful to be part of that. I'm glad I've reached a point where I can do that without feeling bitter towards them. I think of it as, if they can do it, so can I.
I'm not saying I'm always positive as I go along my way. I have my down days, like everyone else. Sometimes I do need to step away because it can be overwhelming. But that's when I draw on the support of my writer friends. They help pick me up and keep going.