Love Yourself and Your Writing First
You need to honor yourself and your writing. Pamper yourself by making time for your writing love. Come to terms with your writing flaws, and discover what you need to make yourself better. Feel good about your work, and eventually others will too.
Put Yourself Out There
If you want your writing to get noticed, you make it available. Submit your work as much as you can if you want to be a published writer. Even if you don't have publishing ambitions, share your work with your loved ones, or some kindred spirits-- other writers.
While you are at it-- Put Your Best Self out There
Especially when submitting, make sure the work that goes out is the best example of your writing that you can give. No typos, spelling errors, mistakes in grammar...This is your time to shine!
Don't be Afraid to make the First Move
Don't wait for someone else to give you permission to fulfill your writing dreams. If you want to be a writer, write! If you are waiting for a teacher, a boss, a significant other to tell you that you are ready to write, you will be waiting a long time. Pick up that Pen! Own It!
Don't play Hard to Get
If you are afraid of getting out there because you are scared of rejection, take a deep breath and dive in. This is one of those times in life when you may need to kiss a lot of frogs to find your "prince".
Also, don't keep your writing to yourself because you are afraid of it getting stolen. Your writing is a part of you, nobody can take it away. (If someone were to actually waste the time and energy taking something word for word from you, you have proof that you wrote it-- rough drafts, computer files, etc.) And, while your writing reflects your individuality, your ideas are not necessarily unique (or protected)-- that's the thrill of story-telling--Boy-meets-Girl has been told an infinite number of times. As a writer, it is your challenge to make that story seem new.
Don't overlook the one that may not seem "Good-Looking" enough
All writers long to see that by-line in the national magazine or have their novel picked up by a top publisher-- but what about all of the other opportunities? A smaller market or contest may lead to recognition, or to more writing assignments. You may find an interest you didn't know you had, or learn something new. Especially when you are starting out, allow yourself these reliable "practice dates". You will build up your writing portfolio as well as your writing skills.
But-- don't settle for something for the sake of Convenience
Are you feeling a little Desperate? Like you will do Anything to be in a writing relationship, already?! That's when you find yourself scouring the internet, open temptation by something that may not be Mr. Right, just Mr. Right Now. There are many places where you can write online-- and many offer Instant Publishing and Payment! There's much debate on these sites (I'll cover them at another time), but for now, think of this: While it may be fun, and you can work on some of your skills, if you aren't really being edited, if your payment is based on clicks rather than the quality of your work, is this where you want to spend the bulk of your time? Have flings-- but you may want to consider other places for your work as well.
When you find your Writing, don't shy away from Commitment
If you've spent time making your way through the beginning writing "scene" and still love it-- Put a Ring on It! Commit yourself to your writing. Make time. Treat it kindly. Forgive when it drives you crazy.
Happy Valentine's Day!