What I have learned is to persevere. I'm a writer and so I write. I may get to be an author someday but that will be a side-effect. I will have lots of essays, poems, novels and plays written - so I will have fruition, but I'll only get to be published if I also submit, query and generally pitch my stuff (to others, not in the garbage).
This month while some of my pals BuNoWriMoed (wrote 50 thousand words) I decided to focus on submitting. I made fifteen submissions to contests, publishers and agents. Some of it was my novel, some poems and essays. I feel pretty stoked actually. In the fall I'll get back to finishing Crooked Knife, but right now this seemed the best use of my time.
So persevering is what I learned for both writing and publishing. Also for every goal - becoming healthy after a hip replacement, following my spiritual practice, working with troubled youth - wait! It isn't quite perseverance in the way you might think - it is deciding on a path and sticking to it despite the outcomes. I don't know that I'll get published or if I do it will be satisfying. I don't know that I'll reach enlightenment or help anyone in a meaningful way. But those are my goals and I've had no indication that being on this path is a bad idea. I like the path in of itself. So I will persevere.