I think the challenge with being an aspiring writer is not giving up. I kind of feel like giving up lately. But I won't. I love writing, especially fiction. I lose myself in it. I'm happy all day long if I write a chapter in the morning. It is what I need to do for me.
Lately, my life has intersected with people who tell me I can never get published and make me feel my efforts to write aren't worthwhile unless I'm published, which they are sure will never happen. These people tell me too many people are writing novels, as if that means there's no room for mine.
Other people give me the feeling my writing doesn't quite measure up.
Here's the thing - I am a woman with a degree in English Literature who ended up being a very well-paid software and database designer and developer. Before I got to that point, I was told I couldn't do it. When I started out, my boss told me I would never be good enough. That really made me really angry - I believe anyone can do anything if they are smart enough, work hard enough, and don't give up.
Through spite and unswerving determination, I threw myself into full nerd mode and learned everything I could about software and database development. Yes, that is as boring to me as it probably is to you, but I did it anyway because he said I couldn't. I became the best I could be until I got promoted to the top of my field. (Screw you, Dale, I did it despite you.)
I understand that there are literally thousands of people working on a novel today. It's a cool thing to do. Just because other people are doing it doesn't mean that I (or you) can't be successful at it. Most people will give up. Most people don't have the insane determination it takes to complete a novel and another and yet another - and then spend hours upon hours editing and polishing and rewriting. I do. I know I do.
To the nay-sayers in my life, today I work on my novel despite you. But it would have been nicer if you would keep it to yourself so I could write today for me instead of out of spite for you.