Robert Putman (paraphrased) made a staggering statement: ‘As a rough rule of thumb, if you belong to no writing group but you decide to join one, you cut your risk of giving up over the next year in half.’
Let’s refocus the statement. Who is your champion—who spurs you on and keeps you focused? Why gives you encouragement in your writing, and feedback to improve? Where do you turn when you have received a reject and who do you rejoice with when you get asked for a full? That’s right, you need to be connected to a group, or someone who cares.
I’m fortunate; I have a loving wife who has never given up on my writing, even when I send her another revised chapter; and I am thankful for a friend who gives me fast feedback; and an editor who polishes my writing as much as the shoe-shine guy in Lisbon who rubbed my shoes so much I thought a genie might pop out.