I've heard it before and I've asked the same questions myself; How does one achieve writing success when there are obstacles such as the decline of the short story market, the bombardment of rejections because the supply exceeds the demand and the fierce competition from writers who seem to have secured their niche with certain magazines? How indeed!
In my writing world I have been fortunate to have experienced the odd years where I've surprised even myself with the amount of short stories I've had published, and then there have been the years where the amount of rejections I've received has to be some kind of world record. In those times I began doubting myself. This put me in a bad place. Writing gives me a sense of self, so giving up was not an option. I reassessed my situation. I knew a story acceptance would renew the faith I had in myself, and always a short story sale sparks something inside of me which motivates and inspires - the magic returns and more acceptances follow. I was determined and I persevered.
It had been many months since I'd seen one of my short stories published and now I'm happy to say within a fortnight I've had five sales. What changed? My attitude.
Achieving writing success is about working hard, commitment, believing in yourself and continuing to put the effort in despite all obstacles.
If you don't believe me here is what two successful writers have to say on the subject:
"I will gladly testify that craft is terribly important, that the often tiresome process of draft, redraft, and then draft again is necessary to produce good work, and that hard work is the only acceptable practice for those of us who have some talent but little or no genius." - Stephen King
"When I first went full-time, I worked about fifty to sixty hours a week. I assumed that when and if I became successful, I'd be able to relax a little. Now I work seventy hours most weeks, and as much as eighty hours when I'm especially captivated by a piece." - Dean Koontz