There's no way around it—writing a novel requires a huge amount of up-front investment. I just spent the last fourteen months brainstorming, researching, writing, editing, re-researching, rewriting, polishing, and agonizing over a young adult historical story that I love.
But that I have no guarantees will ever sell. For about half that time, I wasn't even sure my agent would like it.
Perhaps the amount of investment required in writing is why I find this quote of poet Robert Louis Stevenson's so endearing: "I consider the success of my day based on the seeds I sow, not the harvest I reap."
The harvest often feels very far away, and the only thing we can do is plant the best seeds possible.
What "seeds" are you sowing today?