Part of being human is trying to figure out what in our pasts have led to our present.
Looking at successful people, we can make observations about their histories, compile similar data, and draw conclusions about what makes a successful person.
While an astute student of human behavior can find commonalities among the success stories, these are often vague rather than defined, and if repeated under similar conditions do not always result in success for other people.
Which brings us to writing.
Because there are no guarantees, no controlled way to study and repeat success, and not even a universal definition of "good", the majority of us spin our wheels in relative obscurity, while a select few make it big and then tell the rest of us exactly how they did it, even though they're often attributing significance after the fact, which simply isn't good science.
Readers of this blog know my feelings about luck. It pervades the publishing industry, and life in general. I've blogged before about maximizing the potential for luck by working hard, but without specific instruction that's like a coach at half time telling his team that in order to win they have to play better.
1. Study the situation. That means learning everything you can about writing and publishing. Read about it, talk to people in the industry, and seek answers.
3. Learn from both failure and success. Try things for yourself, try them again, and revise and evolve.While you can't control the experiment, you can test and hone tactics.
5. Value yourself. If you don't have enough confidence to believe you're worth more, no one is going to give you more.
6. Bust your ass. If you aren't driven to succeed, you probably won't. How bad do you want this? If the answer is: really bad, then you have to prioritize accordingly.
7. Forgive. You'll make mistakes. People will screw you. Circumstances may conspire to keep you down. Regret, guilt, worry, and self-pity are all just as poisonous as envy. Let the past stay in the past and move on. You're better than that.
8. Dream. That's why you became a writer in the first place. It's the one thing you have complete control over, and the one thing that will keep you going when everything else is going to hell. The day you stop dreaming is the day you stop trying.
Did I miss anything?