My 10 Commandments for writing. (I am not saying you should be following this. This is just what I think of when I write.)
1. Thou shall not plagiarize.
Come up with your ideas. Yes, some are going to be like others but they will be able to tell the difference if you are plagiarizing someones work.
2. You should always write straight from the heart.
What comes from your heart is always more interesting then just blah writing. If it comes from the heart we will know and feel it through your words.
3. You should never not write when you are in a 'mood', use that emotion in your writing.
Emotion is the best took you have besides your mind. People feel the emotions of the characters when they are reading. If you are putting your emotions into the text it will be more real then just saying "I am really upset." Instead use how you would be upset. Real emotion works.
4. Writer's Block? Doesn't exist unless you let it.
I have heard many writer's say it exists and the same amount say it doesn't. Personally I believe it's what you make it. Maybe it's writer's block and maybe it's just your head saying "I just don't feel like writing at the moment." If that is the case, stop and do something active and see if you can get right back into it. If not, do some free write. (Free write is where you just type whatever you are thinking about at the moment.)
5. Don't walk away until you are satisfied.
If there is something you want to do, do it. Don't worry about word count, or chapter size. Just do it. If you walk away from something without being completely satisfied that could possibly be how other people will feel. If you aren't happy with it then fix it until you are. Make it the best you can.
6. Come with a new bright idea.
There are a lot of books that get compared to each other. It's the way it is and for writers it sucks when you have created something completely on your own and people continue to accuse you of knocking off of someone else. So try your best to make it your own and create new ideas that you haven't seen
7. Beware of Book Karma.
I don't if you believe in Karma but I do. Do good to other writers and Karma will reward you. Don't steel books off the internet without paying for them, use a library. Don't buy knock off book merchandise. Let the authors get the credit they deserve by going through the official channels to buy stuff.
8. Edit until you cannot edit no more.
As I said in my last post, editing your own work is important. No agent/publisher will even look at your query letter or manuscript if it looks like a jumbled mess that makes no sense. Yes, editors edit your work but it's not just their job to catch typos. If you don't know what they all do then you need to do some more research on this career choice.
9. DO NOT bug authors about how they got published or if they can help you.
Some may answer you when you ask but others will tell you they can't help you. Being an author is a job and they have such hectic schedules that they won't be able to help you (most don't even read unpublished work). If you are serious about being a writer then you should do the research on how to become one yourself. It's how they made it to where they were and it could possibly be what gets you to where you are.
10. Don't let rejections put you down. Throw it away and move on to the next.
It is very rare that someone will get their first response as a yes. Chances are the first one you get back will be a rejection. Don't let it get to you though. It could be a long time before you get someone asking for more and letting each rejection get to you could make you stop what you're doing and give up. Rejection hurts, I know. But if you give up the one that was supposed to be next could have been THE ONE.
What do you think? Am I missing something that you think is important? Let me know, I would love to hear from you.