In the race to get published, perhaps (as creative artists) we need to sometimes take a step back and try and be realistic and objective about the whole thing. We write. We edit. We re-write. We get people to read and give their subjective feedback. We thank them. We try and fix things and give the writing more shape if we think it needs it. Then we put it on the end of a hook and cast it out into the wide ocean of agents and publishers - who come in all shapes and sizes. And it is utterly amazing when one of those fish find the now-dead worm called "My Novel" tasty or interesting and take a bite of it. Bingo!
I think it doesn't really matter how we go about getting published - through help from writer/reader/editor/friend people or by your lonely self from the secret dungeon of your fertile imagination.
We keep writing and trying to write better whether we're published or not. Writers write. I'm writing, so I'm a writer. That's enough for me. When I'm good and ready and have a fabulously fantastic enough manuscript/outline for an agent or a publisher to nibble on, then I'll want more more more!
For now I'll stick to shaping and editing my almost fabulously fantastic enough novel "Tales Tell Tales."