Bottom Line Costs You can write, edit, cover, format, and publish a novel for $0 and a buttload of time. However, this is not a realistic option if your goal is to sell books and garner lifelong readers. (You’ll note that there is no inclusion for marketing, which is vital if you want to sell books and turn writing into a career. If, however, your only goal is to write and publish you can do it for free.) Free Option Write You can use Google Docs, or LibreOffice for the actual writing. Edit If you need free edits, your best option will be to find a local writing group and offer manuscript swaps. This will provide a proofreading—with minimal story level, or sentence level feedback—but it is possible to edit a novel for free. Likewise, there are the rare few authors who can edit their own novels without outside feedback. […]
At its core, fiction is about emotional experiences for the reader. Provide that and you’ll find that your readers will stick with you throughout your series and recommend your books to their friends.
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.”
“Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.”
“Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.”
“Accept everything just the way it is.”
If you are a writer, then you should publish. You should share the words and thoughts you produce; be it for entertainment or informative.
It makes no difference to your writing and publishing journey what others are doing. Stop comparing your road to theirs. You have decades of experiences they do not, and vice versa, therefore comparison is pointless.
Your greatest strength and weakness, lies in your passion. It can be used to fuel great creations with reckless abandon for everything else in your life. Or it can result in wasted years on trivial activities that only supply momentary enjoyment; heroine.
It is normal to feel anger, but it offers little value to your life. Acknowledge its existence and use it as fuel to change.