Over two years ago, a sci/fi convention I regularly attend announced it would do a book of short stories about its mascot, a slug. No, I don't know why a sci/fi convention has a slug mascot, but anyway, the idea amused me and since I was a voracious reader, and had been for years, I believed I could write something up to submit.
The "story" I sent wasn't really a story at all, it was a scene but it did get some attention from the editor, who OMG! actually e-mailed me back to tell me I had a good scene but no story. N00B me worked in a bit more things, again thinking I had a story, and sent re-sent it.
Yes, I know now that unless told to re-send, DON'T. I did say I was a noob.
It was rejected, but that one try gave me the writing bug. I wanted to write. I wanted to tell the kind of story I liked, the kind that I would stay up all night reading because it's so good.
I starting typing. I posted the beginning of my first "novel" to my blog and OMG! somehow caught the attention of a published writer/editor who gently edited my work and told me I could write.
How did I do this? I have no friggen idea. My guardian angel?
This editor person told me the best advice I've gotten, which is to systematically go through my local library's 808 section reading every book on how to write I could get my hands on. After thanking her profusely, I followed her advice.
A few form e-mail rejections later, I caught a clue and buckled down to actually learn what the hell I'm doing before I submit again. I found people on line with more good advice. I found beta readers who I will owe favors to for the rest of my life.
But most importantly, I WRITE.
When I started I thought it would be easy. Slap a few words on a page, and you're done. Oh boy, was I wrong. My long slog to acceptable has begun, but my stubbornness will prevail. I will make it dammit. No matter how many awful words I have to get out of my system first. ;)