Getting published can be a stressful time, but the sense of accomplishment at the end is well worth it. It can’t be stressed enough about the importance of reading. If you are writing for a specific genre, it is crucial to read other books in the same arena. These books are your competition; by checking them out you are able to see what is succeeding and what is not.
Also read other genres for ideas. It may be helpful to read plays that will help with forming dialogue, thrillers for developing plots, and short stories for articulateness.
Another aspect is staying teachable. There are workshops, readings, and seminars available for longtime writers as well as those just starting out. This will help give you the opportunity to share writing struggles, ideas and so on with other writers who may be able to help guide you. This is also a good networking tool that is always a key thing to do in any business.
Enter your work into as many competitions as you can. There are numerous contests available via the web, and this not only gives you practice, but also give you the opportunity to see if your writing has the potential that you think it does.
Developing your voice as a writer is also a crucial piece to becoming a successful author. If you choose to go with a mainstream publishing house you will want to obtain the services of an agent. Most publishers won’t even look at an authors work without going through an agent. This can be expensive, and most publishers, if they choose to publish your work, will likely own the rights to your book. It is important to have good representation so as not to lose your rights to the work you have spent so much time and energy on.