I have picked up a few tips along the way, though (all this pertains to short stories, bee tee dubs):
- Write about something you care about, something that interests you. If you're not invested in it, why should the reader be?
- After you finish, let the story set for a day or so before you begin to edit.
- Don't be afraid to cut out words. A concise story is more likely to get published.
- Make friends with other writers. A writer will be able to edit/proofread your story better than a non-writer, in most cases.
- Grow a thick skin.
- Don't be afraid to send out your story. Submitting to publications is emotional: it's like sending your baby out into the cruel world. (Side note: Duotrope is what I use to find markets. It tracks deadlines, checks dead markets, etc. A lot of people use Ralan, but it's just a matter of personal preference.
- Expect rejection. It'll definitely happen.
- Don't ever think your story is perfect, because it isn't. Also, if a publisher is cool enough to offer a personalized rejection with feedback, consider the changes he or she suggests. (That being said, don't make any changes if it compromises the integrity of the story.)
- Expect people to try to screw you over. It'll definitely happen.
- Celebrate when you get an acceptance. You deserve it.
I almost forgot. The issue of Scifaikuest that I'm in is out. The editor said my haiku was her favorite. Also, Tales from the Grave, the anthology that will contain my true ghost story "My Life with the Dead" doesn't have a release date yet, but it will come out sometime this month.