"The Ugly Duckling" by Hans Christian Anderson is one of my favorite kids' stories. As I'm sure you remember, the poor duckling is an outcast who spends a miserable winter alone, fending off the bitter weather and the other animals' cruelty and scorn.
But eventually... "He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him..."
I always thought that was a great lesson, because how can we know what it means to be happy unless we've also experienced unhappiness?
For those writers who are querying agents, out on submission, or just plugging away at a third or fourth draft, do you think years of hard work and uncertain toil will make success all the sweeter, or do you wish fortune would shine on you now?