When I first started writing seriously for publication (I'd written all my life, but the 'have-to-get-published' bug didn't hit until my late 30's; obviously, that was only a few years ago). When I started on 'the path', I was hyped, I was enthusiastic, I was convinced I was the next Nora Roberts, and I was like a bull in a china shop. I went charging around with absolutely no idea of what I was doing. I didn't even know that I didn't even know
But I also did some things right: I subscribed to Writer's Digest and Romantic Times Magazine, I joined RWA and my local writing chapter (Dallas Area Romance Authors), and started educating myself on the publishing business. I also read books on writing techniques, talked writing with other writers, wormed my way into a good critique group. And as I learned the professional approach to becoming a published author, I did a lot of cringing as I realized all the faux pas (I.E., total screwups) I had committed, and I wanted to slink away in embarrassment. But guess what? I survived all my mistakes, managed to pay for the damage in the china shop, and somehow, *somehow* managed to stumble into being published.
So, I guess my message is, don't worry if you make mistakes, or if you don't get it right the first time. *Keep trying*. I firmly believe those who persevere are the ones who make it in this crazy business.