A story being published later this year was first written in early 1991 and received its first rejection March 31, 1991. It was rejected by 25 publications, finally finding a home earlier this year on its 26th submission.
That's 16 years from creation to publication...and it isn't the longest gap between creation and publication for one of my stories.
If there's a lesson here, it's that a writing career doesn't happen overnight. It takes hard work and a tenacity that most would-be writers don't have.
Oh, and a good filing system never hurts.