Lots of new writers contact me with questions about how to get their articles or books published. Some hire me to coach them. A few get past the first critique and assignment. The ones who stick it out get published. Why are the numbers so small? The fault lies not within the publishing industry (or my tutelage); the fault lies within the writer. Most people simply do not want to put in the time and hard work. Many have unreal expectations about what an agent or editor will do for them. Others think once the book comes out, the publisher will spend a small fortune to promote and sell it.
I never discourage anyone from writing. Writing for pleasure and expression is a pleasurable past-time. It's fun and rewarding.
But, if you're serious and want to publish your work, get educated about the publishing process. You've got to love the process or you'll never have the stamina it takes to see your name in print.
My suggestions to all writers who want to become published is to go to a writers' conference, subscribe to writers' magazines and ezines (find suggestions at my website) and join a writers' group. Oh yeah, and buy my workbook "4 Ps to Publishing Success: Get your manuscript off your desk and into print" when it comes out in a few weeks. You'll get a complete overview of everything you need to know about the publishing process and practical information on how to navigate the system. Available as an old-fashioned print book or new-fangled eBook.
Once you know what you don't (now) know you don't know, it's going to seem a lot easier. And your future agent and editor will thank you for it.