Last but certainly not least is publishing your work. This is the very last hurdle (although that could be up for argument, I'm keeping this simple). Publishing nowadays takes on two forms: self-publishing or traditional. There is a third form, which is a blending of the two. That's called a hybrid author: one who has their foot in both the traditional and self-publishing camp.
In the traditional route, by going to a publisher, there are usually two routes: direct or through a literary agent. Agents are the gatekeepers and typically know what editor likes what. If you're lucky enough to be able to talk to an editor, you may be able to bypass the agent avenue. Then again, agents can help navigate contracts and selling various rights, like audio or foreign.
Self-publishing is an entirely new beast--and one I'm in. This means putting it up on the Amazon Kindle site and Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, etc.
I'm not going to go into depth on either one here, but I have written about it plenty and there are several resources out there, many of them for free.
Publishing is a hurdle that stops many a writer from realizing their dream--if you've exhausted every traditional route and still feel your work is good, by all means, try self-publishing.
What can it hurt?