Don't be in a hurry to be published. These days, you can have a book available to millions of readers twelve hours after it's written. This is a good thing for authors, but it also means that you're no longer "forced" to bring your writing to a certain level before it's available for people to buy.
The thought of my first few books actually having been published HORRIFIES me. I thought they were brilliant. They were not brilliant.
There's nothing wrong with a practice novel or two or fourteen.