Quite right--I am aware of that. However, I find it interesting that that is approx what it took for me to get to a certain point in my professional life. Talking with a group of working writers some years ago, too, we--between all our careers--figured that, after first publication, our writing was our livelihood after about 7 years. If someone really has a hit first out the gate, they've probably been reading extensively and with focus. Or listening.
Thinking of Cynthia Rylant, who grew up playing in the woods, read comic books, listened to stories, didn't think about writing until almost finished college...yet her work is so poetic, and characters vivid, and stories haunting. She's someone who has paid attention to life around her... so... Thank you for reading!