The writing gig is basically about three things.
1. Writing no matter what, day in and day out
2. Hard headed determination used for good ("I won't give up," as opposed to, "No one can tell me anything.")
There's a lot of waiting involved in writing. You have to wait for your writing to cure after you've written it before you revise it. (Queries need this too.) Once it's ready, you also have to wait to hear from publishing houses and agents. There won't be a note in the mail after a week. The general waiting period is about four months to almost a year. Queries take less time to wait for than unsolicited submissions, but almost as much time to write (for me anyway). If you're not in it for the long haul, there's not much point in being in it at all.
The patience part is tricky. If you're not careful, it can slide over into procrastination masquerading as patience. Writing procrastination is generally fueled by fear. It's easier not to write or not to submit rather than face possible rejection by your inner editor or the outer editors. The key is to keep on with number one while still doing number two and number three. It doesn't hurt to send your inner editor on vacation to Cancun during first drafts, either. Keep a close eye on her during rewrites, because her negativity can stall a project that has potential but needs work.
I'm still contemplating Randy I's words about scheduling success. There are so many advantages to writing by schedule. It develops discipline. It keeps you from thinking of writing as a hobby. It causes you to become better than you were yesterday. It produces something that will finally be worth publishing.
Conclusion? The formula for writing is easy. It just takes doing. It is not for the faint of heart.
Don't expect polished posts this week. We're getting near the end of the school year and I don't have much free time. I've been thinking about this as I work on my novel, which takes more grit in the writing area than the picture books have for me. I feel a lot more like giving up, so I'm assuming this is when the hard headed determination needs to kick in.