Neophyte - 1. a new convert. 2. a novice or beginner. (p. 284)
Our company works with neophyte and unknown authors. One of the best things a neophyte writer can do for their career is join a writers group or fifty. The writers groups will be oh-so beneficial. They can help writers find and learn about their strengths and weaknesses. They can help with the editing process prior to submission or prior to the novel landing on your editors desk. They can help start a necessary network that will be able to provide new distribution avenues, and a plethora of other things - the latest industry news, contests, structure, formatting, reviews, sales outlets, tours, networking areas, media contacts, publishing contacts, associations. You get the point. A writers group(s) can help start the foundation you need to be a successful author.
You have to be mindful that a lot of publishing companies will not take the time to help completely re-write your novel. The writers groups can help get your work tightened up. They can help you identify if you write passive, how to watch for it, and keep your eyes open as you continue to scribe. Back story dump AKA catching up the reader is very common. Seasoned writers even do it. But going through writers groups on a regular basis will help you identify these areas, how to tell when you have done them when you start editing your own work, and how to fix it.
As a neophyte author part of learning your craft, your art, and evolving as a writer is learning from those around you. A writers group can provide one of many paths to support that evolution. Learn from the seasoned writers around you and apply those lessons to your writing. It is like any other career. You learn from those around you with years more experience than you.
I fully support an author who hits the ground running, taking their career in their own hands. However, part of that process is learning as you go and a writers group can help start that process. Find a good one. Find a structured one. Find one that has other writers that support and not inhibit your growth. Most writers band together to support each other. They were where you are now and understand the learning curve.