Here’s what I wished someone had said to me a long time ago:
•Write every day. Even if it’s only a paragraph and you throw it out tomorrow, just write. Flexing your creative muscle day in and day out makes a difference. It helps you find your voice.
•Share your stories. Find someone you can trust to give you an honest critique.
•Don’t isolate yourself. Connect with others like you; Twitter, Facebook, a writer’s group. Many aspiring authors are in the same boat and it’s no fun sitting in it alone.
•Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Leave your comfort zone. It’s nice and safe in there, but nothing will ever happen if you don’t step out.
•Believe in yourself. Don’t undervalue what you’re doing. If you write, you’re a writer.
You need to keep reading, as well. Don’t stick to the genre you write in, read across all genres. Get a feel for how a story goes together, for how other authors handle plot, scene structure, etc. It’s okay to emulate other authors at first. If you keep writing, your own style will emerge.