- Join a critique group
Getting your stuff read by people who aren’t your mom or best friend is essential to becoming a better writer. Critiquing other people’s work will not only teach you how to be a better writer yourself, it will allow to offer your own unique wisdom to your fellow writers.
- Join a writer’s group focused on support, instead of critique.
I don’t always want someone to fix my problems. Often I just want someone to know they exist. Enter the writer’s support group. A place to whine about, curse and worship this craft that you’ve chosen for yourself. Even if it’s one other person, it helps.
- Read. A lot.
There’s no excuse for not reading if you’re a writer. Don’t say you don’t have time. You do. You just haven’t realized it yet. In line at the bank. At the grocery store. In traffic. On the train. Whenever you’re watching TV. While you’re brushing your teeth. While you’re talking to your sister on the phone and she’s going off about what a dick her ex is. Seriously, any time you have a free 30 seconds, read.
- Talk about things besides writing with people who aren’t writers.
Otherwise what the hell will you have to write about?
- Join an Association that reps your genre. (SCBWI for Children’s/YA, RWA for Romance, etc.)
These groups often offer conferences, meetings, support groups, critique groups, writing advice, publishing advice, agent connections, etc. They’re like writing Swiss Army Knives.