#1: Be open to advice - but follow your heart. When I get suggestions from my agent or editor, my initial reaction is to bristle, but after a few seconds of rational thought I realize they're most likely right. On the other hand, I've seen too many aspiring writers swayed by the erroneous suggestions of other aspiring writers, often leading to disjointed, uncomfortable books. Use your head ... and your heart. #2: Keep practicing. I wrote my first book in six months ... then I took the next three years to learn how to REALLY write a book. #3: Learn to delete, but never completely delete. Put those deleted sections in a separate file for use in the future. I believe everyone writes something for a reason, and you might be able to use it in a future book.