1. Write. Write as often as you can when you can. Never procrastinate. Writers write, dreamers dream.
2. Read. Read as much as you can as often as possible. Words are the whetstone to a writer’s mind. Novels will improve you as a writer.
3. Plan what you write. Always. A good writer is also a well-prepared one. Avoid any unnecessary literary cul-de-sacs.
4. Set clear, achievable goals. It could be a chapter a day or a few hundred words. Just make sure that it’s doable. Small steps will take you to some exciting places.
5. Finish what you start. A writer writes not just for the sake of it. Don’t flip from one project to another. Start it, finish it.
6. Leave it alone. Don’t start editing as soon as the ink has dried upon your manuscript. Leave it a few weeks and then go back to it. Then read it as any reader would.
7. Edit, edit, edit. Always be prepared to re-read and re-write your novel multiple times. Don’t be scared to look at it again and again. Whatever it takes.
8. Let someone else have a look. It could be friends, family – someone you trust to give you honest, constructive feedback. Consider what they say and be prepared to LISTEN and ACT upon their advice.
9. Never give up. Most if not all writers get rejected but it’s vital that you keep sending your work out to agents and publishers.
10. Take a break. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes take a week or a weekend off in order to re-fresh your batteries. Make sure you’re writing in five years’ time, not just in five days.
Heys Wolfenden is the author of the Jack Strong series of books, about a young boy's adventures in space, available now on Amazon: Jack Strong and the Red Giant