I was just a child when I started writing. I constantly made up stories about everything, too. Got in trouble for it in school more than … once.
In high school, my friends and I would write round robin stories while in Study Hall. We tried to leave our section in the worst predicament we could imagine, just to see how the next person got out of the jam.
I kept writing through the military and my early college years. Yet, somehow surprised when my professor suggested I pursue a degree in English/Creative Writing because I was so close to completing it anyway.
My first book, Under Twin Suns, took 12 years to write because I used it as a training tool. I’d fix it the best I could, then send it to someone I respected for some feedback. Then I’d fix it again and send it out again. Finally, I started sending it to publishers and agents. Apparently 40 something is the magic number; several famous writers have hit that before getting their first acceptance letter. My number was 43.
12 years and 42 rejections.
It’s hard work, and there are no shortcuts. If you want to be published bad enough, work hard and be patient.