Oh, Ramona, I wish I had an answer for you. As a mere child of 61 I’m very much in your boat (with significantly less writing under my belt).
My novel “Graceless” sits alone and unloved. True I’ve only sent out about 5 query letters but all five turned me down. It’s so hard to keep putting myself out there. I took a chance and put the first chapter of “Graceless” on Medium as a series where it sits, ignored for the most part. Meh.
So many of my short stories that do get love here on Medium have been rejected double digit times over the years.
Literally the only time I have ever earned money for my own stories is here on Medium. It’s a token that I still hold dear.
I will be watching to see if you have any luck with your brave shout into the void and am sorry to have no help to offer. ❤