1. Devour the written word. Surround yourself with books!
2. Think about your writing obsessively. Wonder about your characters or your projects as you walk the dog, sit in school, or milk the yak.
3. Feel the need to have one or more writer friends so you’lll know you’re not the only quirky/crazy/strange being in the universe.
4. Feel the need to have one or more non-writer friends so you’ll realize there’s reality out there.
5. Write as often as you can. More often than you talk about it. But not so often you get headaches. (I PROMISE to turn off this computer after I finish just one more page . . . )
6. Take refresher courses, classes, writing workshops, and/or attend conferences. Check out The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, The California Writers Club, Sisters in Crime, Western Writers of America, the Authors Guild, Iowa Writers’ Workshop, etc.
7. Join or form a writer’s group or find professional writers who can critique your work. LISTEN to what they say. Be open to suggestions and ENJOY revising!