At first we go for the big fish, the agents of Rowlings and Meyers and Collinses, but once the realization sinks in that it's truly a dog-eat-dog world out there, we tend to feel like mangy mutts slinking around the dumpsters of well-to-do residents, hoping for a few measly scraps. If only someone would notice us!
Let me cheer you up a bit, with a quote from a book on writing I just finished. It's "The First Five Pages" by Noah Lukeman (you should read it), and this quote is from the epilogue:
"Genet was forced to write on toilet paper, as that was all he had during his many years in prison. When the guards found and destroyed his life's work, he began again, recreating what he'd done from memory.
"Dostoyevsky spent many years in a prison camp in Siberia, where he wasn't allowed to read anything but the Bible and was given no writing materials - just hard labor. But he continued to write when he got out, despite the fact that Russian law prohibited a former prisoner to be published. When the czar read Dostoyevsky's House of the Dead - given to him by friends - he cried, lifted the ban, and allowed the work to be published.
"Conrad, a Polish refugee, taught himself English while working on a ship, despite the fact that he didn't speak a word of it until he was twenty years old. Through sheer devotion, he turned himself not only into a proficient writer but one of the great masters of the English language.
"Faulkner labored in factories and post offices while he wrote his works. He said the great thing about being published was that he was 'no longer at the mercy of every bastard who had five cents for a stamp.'
"If these writers could overcome such obstacles, how can you give up after a few rejection slips?"