Carolyn Mackler is the acclaimed author of the Printz Honor YA novel The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things and its brand-new sequel The Universe is Expanding and So Am I as well as many others.
Even though Carolyn has written 10 novels, she still feels like she doesn't know what she's doing. But if she has a vague clue it is this, her ten things she's learned:
1. Write what you love.
2. Do your research.
3. Don't copy trends.
4. Always love to read.
5. Pay attention to your children, families, and yourself.
6. Know that you sometimes think your writing suck. Keep going.
7. Put things away for a while (the magic of the drawer).
8. Groom good readers (to get the feedback you need from them in order to improve story).
9. Start a new project.
10. Send a freakin' thank you note. (Remember you are hopefully in this field for a long time and it depends on building relationships. Keep track of people along they way who have helped you.)