I’ve heard many a famous writer laugh when they are described as being an overnight success. Of course, it does happen, but most writers I know have played the ‘publication dance’ for many years before they actually achieve that exclusive label.
The publishing world is relatively small. People change jobs, leaving authors not knowing if the new editor will like their style or even want to keep publishing their type of book. Agents leave agencies. Writers change publishing houses.
And for a new author, add the pressure of getting someone to even look at your stuff. Agents have become the gatekeepers to publishers. Finding a good agent who is prepared to take a newbie author on is increasingly difficult. I’m not complaining about this. It’s all part of the process. If you want to be a writer you have to learn to deal with the constant rejections, maneuvering and politicking.
I’ve learned one thing over the past five years. Keep writing the good book. Keep learning your craft and exploring new territory. Keep taking risks with your writing. Ultimately, that’s what agents and editors are looking for: that unique voice, that fantastic story. That’s the piece of the picture you can control. The rest is in the lap of the gods.