For those of you undertaking National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, I remind you of the daily tips I published (with the help of writer friends) in 2011. Please check them out if you need inspiration. There are tips and links to online resources and a list of good how-to books on writing craft.
I've been writing continuously since 2000 and published in 2011, and for what it's worth: like everything else in life, the longer you've been doing something, the more your practices are likely to change. It's not a bad thing but a natural thing. You learn from experience, learn to trust your instincts and to distrust your tendency to procrastinate. I still believe writing is mostly done by putting in the time, that it's like a muscle and after three days away it's awkward when you first sit down to type, but within three days you're generally back in the swing of it. Don't be afraid of a terrible first draft, if that's what it takes to get back in the flow.
You don't know if you have a real story until you get into it, see where you run into walls, where plots fall apart; when characters really start to get interesting. Many stories are abandoned along the way. It's the natural order of things. The trick is to keeping looking for the next idea and to always work on your craft..
For those of you who are hoping for a career in writing, I thought you might find it interesting to know what's it been like for me since the last book was published. In the past few years, I've written one complete novel and started a handful of others. (The agent didn't think it was worth trying to sell the novel at this time, which tells me that it probably needs more work.) I've started one novella and have ideas for a couple more simmering in the back of my mind. I'm currently working on a project that I don't have the green light to talk about--yet.
As tends to happen with blog posts, I'll end by petering out rather than with a strong point. Please feel free to leave a question or observation about writing in the comments.