If you want to write, read and read widely. I don’t understand those writers who look at you blankly when you ask them what they’re reading. If you’re not prepared to read what has come before, why should anyone take a chance on your new work? Read classics and contemporary so you get a feel for what has been done and what is being done now.
If you want to be treated as a professional, you must act like one. This goes from checking spellings and grammar (and not relying on your computer here) but, more importantly, in terms of attitude. It’s a question of being confident but never arrogant and not thinking of yourself more highly than you ought or being a doormat.
A Writer's Essential Supplies
You can never have too much paper, stationery, ink or toner cartridges or information. In most professions there are journals for that market. Writing is no exception. And to be taken seriously as an author you need to know what’s going on out there. I use Writers’ News, Writing Magazine and Mslexia.
Just as you shouldn’t underestimate fellow humans (if only for our stupidity capacity, it is endless), writers shouldn’t under-estimate characters. Let them develop their lives. Let them surprise you. The story belongs to them. You are the conduit through which it ends up on the paper. Character led plots are easier to believe. We want the characters telling the story. Surprising Characters