It took me my fourth novel and about eight thousand rejections to get published (my debut novel is coming out next year from Weaving Dreams Publishing). It was an excruciating process and it took about eight years from when I first started. But it was absolutely necessary. Looking back my early writing was complete crap. I have since revised my early stuff so that I no longer consider it crap. But writing is most definitely a craft, and it takes time to refine your skills.
Carl Alves