I started writing when I was in college (about 20 years ago). Back then, the internet was still very new and the Kindle, as we know it now, didn't exist. I wrote mostly on paper, too. I used dozens of sheets of white paper to write my stories. Never a notebook, only white paper. It wasn't after graduating from college that I started writing in the only Macintosh computer we owned.
By then, email began more important. I could work and then email my stories to friends. I didn't even have to print them anymore.
It was a little after that time that I entered two contests. I lost miserably, or at least, I never knew anything about my submissions. Both times I submitted my story "Ordinary Problems", which will be featured in my upcoming short story collection "A Few Drops of Fantasy". I'm especially proud of that story, but I can understand why it wasn't good enough. As I am revising it today, I see that I was a very different writer then than I am now.
Times have changed. Publishing has, too.
Back then, if I intended to publish my book, I would need to write a submission letter and email to different publishing houses - together with my manuscript. Then the rejections would begin. In fact, I doubt any agent would have picked up my book. If J.K. Rowling herself was rejected so many times, or Stephen King, or some of the other great ones, where did that leave me?
Unfortunately, rejection is still in my future. Or is it?
Now I can self-publish. It's pretty much a free endeavor. Sure, you still need to prep your book for publication, generate a decent cover, write a summary, all those things; but you can just put your story out there for millions instead of a few literary agents.
Will your story be read? Maybe not. Just like being rejected by a bunch of agents, you will be rejected by a greater number of people (billions), but your work will be out there forever. Not like writing submission letters, giving up and stop doing it all together. With digital books, your work is out there just waiting to be discovered.
It will happen.
I know it.
I will not rest until my time here is done.
Good luck out there!