Write as often as you can, even when you don’t feel inspired. Even when there’s nothing you want to do less.
Write early in the morning, or late into the night, during your lunch break or on the train; snatch your moments wherever you can find them.
Don’t wait for inspiration, seek it out if you have to, but learn to write without it. And when you do find yourself inspired, immerse yourself in the feeling, grasp it and write hard. Don’t stop to think, don’t censor yourself, don’t edit. Let the words flow onto the page, build up a rhythm; hurry your fingers across the keyboard in a vain effort to keep pace with your imagination.
Don’t let doubt consume you. Don’t allow it to force its way into the cracks in the soul, slowly expanding, forcing your heart to break. Don’t give up because you feel you aren’t good enough.
Listen to take criticism, learn to find the value in it and recognise the irrelevance. Use it to make your writing better. Learn the rules before you tear them apart.
Don’t write to suit a trend, or because you think something will be popular. Write the story only you can tell, the characters who live inside your imagination.
Don’t try to be someone else. Don’t copy their voice or tell a story they already wrote. Use the work of others for inspiration, take an idea and rework it, make it your own.
Read. Read for hours on end.
Study the stories you love and absorb them, learn by osmosis. Figure out what makes them great.
Make friends with other writers, whether online or in real life. Share your work; share your struggles and your fears. Lift each other up. Understand that you’re not alone; other writers share your experience in a way that is so similar it is almost profound.
Pour your heart and soul into your work, make it real, make the reader feel. Put yourself out there.
Write because it’s a part of your identity, it’s who you are. Write because it makes you deliriously happy and profoundly, heart-crushingly sad. Write because it opens up the world before you; it lays bare what it means to be alive. Write because it makes your heart sing, and your blood pound.
Write because you don’t know how to do anything else.
Write to be published, or write something that no one else will see.
Put your book on Amazon or put it in a drawer. Do what feels right for you. Listen to your own thoughts, your own assessment of your work’s strengths and flaws. You’re often more right than you know.
Have respect for your readers: take the time to edit. Remember that your work can always be better.
Take a risk; write that story you can’t forget about. Show it to someone else and ask for their opinion. Be proud.
And always remember: you’re not just an ‘aspiring’ writer.
You’re a writer.