1. Write every day, even if it's only a hundred words. 2. Stop caring about the opinion of others. Writing is personal. The stories you tell are yours. I am 44 and have been writing since I was a child. I didn't share my work with anyone until last year, because I feared what other people would think. Which is stupid. In the grand scheme of things, what does it matter if someone hates it. I have adapted an old motto as my own: Some will, some won't, so what. 3. Do the math and decide whether you should self-pub or try to go traditional. Do not base your choices on the opinions of others, but do listen to those who have been in the industry and have the experience. Read and research all your options. You cannot make an educated decision based solely on emotion, advice, or opinions. 4. Last, but definitely not least, READ! People become great at what they do by surrounding themselves with greatness. One of the best ways to hone your craft is to read and study how others in the industry have perfected theirs.