The latter is the route I, and fellow Chapeltown Books author, Gail Aldwin took. Part 2 of my interview with her is up on Chandler's Ford Today for this week's post and we discuss writing tips and character creation amongst other things.
You need the dreams to keep you going. You need hard headed reality to be able to cope with the rejections, competition disappointments and so on. It does help to know this is all part of the process. The one good thing about it is that it does toughen you up so you face later rejections better than you might otherwise have done.