When I got my first rejection letter, way back in 1983, out of frustration and desperation, I called a hometown hero, Robert Cormier. Bob (we later became great friends) kept me on the phone for a long time, helping me keep my focus and keep things in perspective. He gave me some great advice about the writing itself, which I’ve never forgotten: Characters are more important than plot.
On a more practical level, anyone out there who wants to be a writer should clearly recognize that this is a brutal business, where even incredibly talented people sometimes never make a living. If you want to chase such a dream, please have a Plan B in place. You can write and take literature and creative writing courses while getting an engineering degree, or a teaching degree, or even after law or medical school. Pursue your dreams, you bet, but do so responsibly, for your own sake."