Just got done reading Pat Walsh's 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published & 14 Reasons Why It Just Might (longest title in history, right?). I found the information harsh and abrasive, but above all, extremely helpful. In order for a writer to take themselves seriously on the road to authorhood, I think it's necessary to view all the brutal sides of the publishing industry (including all the annoying, knit-picky reasons you most likely will be rejected--because you almost always will). Throughout the book I recoiled at his "jerk" attitude towards writers (even through my giggles at his humor), but his points were very valid and it made me want to strive harder at putting in all the effort necessary to make myself stand out in the "slush-pile" against all the thousands and thousands of submissions agents and editors receive every year. The book had a strange way of making the less-worthy writers feel like crap, but the dedicated writers feel like a million bucks. By the end, I felt inspired, self-assured, humble, blasted full of knowledge and tips, proud to be on the path I was on, and dedicated to continue to put in the hard work (torturous hard work) to go all the way--presuming luck will be on my side. Thanks for your cut-throat opinion, Pat.
So though no one else who is interested is probably reading this, if you are...I highly recommend this book if you're interested in writing/have written. It will help you determine if your dream is a flusy past-time or a serious decision.