Just a couple of little things today. I am convalescing from my triple root canal (and currently on "the good stuff" for pain), so I don't have a lot of coherence in me.
Though we like the story of rags to riches upstart who shows up out of nowhere, there are actually almost no writers who come "out of nowhere." Any writer you're reading (who isn't a friend who handed you a piece of their soul and asked you to be careful with it) probably has been struggling quietly for a very long time, and anyone who hasn't struggled will probably be the one who gives up the dream in middle age.
I had an instructor at SFSU who was really into failure and how amazing and rejuvenating it could be for creativity. She used to say. "Fail. Fail again. Fail better." As a culture, Americans really don't accept failure unless it is a"setback" in a broader success story. This is even though, statistically, people fail at most of their endeavors that don't involve treading water (which is probably why most people stick to treading water). There are a lot of benefits to failure and most people don't really "succeed" in the strictest sense of the word. It's more like they fail upward until they catch a break.