You ARE special, actually, but those long-held dreams of becoming a *gasp* published author? That is not not not unique. In fact it’s common as dirt. I can say this clearer than most, because I’m not actually in the editing/agenting/publishing biz myself, and I therefore have the leeway to be more honest. I am, in short, one of you – one of the shuffling, slavering hordes.
Here is an article by Editorial Anonymous (a carefully anonymous editor, which is why this is the most honest article on this I’ve ever seen that wasn’t written by a purely novel-writing type). You really really should read the whole thing, but here’s some of the beginning (the “slush” or “slushpile” is the pile of books wannabe writers have sent to a publisher):
The fundamental lack of understanding about how much slush there is feeds many, many of the most commonly made mistakes writers make–mistakes that hurt their chances of getting published, and often hurt their morale. Some of those mistakes are below; but first, a visualization excercise:
Read the rest if ye seek wisdom. Also, it’s very funny.
And here’s a cat. Because if you understand – really understand – what that article means for YOUR novel, you’ll need a quiet sit down with something soothing.