I wasn't going to do this meme. It's long since played out at most of the other writer's journals, but as I learned a couple things reading some of their entries, I decided to jot down the first things that came in my head on the subject. In no particular order:
1. The more you read, the better your writing will be.
2. Write, write, write, write, write.
3. For productivity: a deadline is good, an actively waiting audience is better.
4. There is a huge difference between an idea/concept and a story. You usually need both to create a successful piece of fiction.
5. You can argue successfully with characters when they start trying to lay down the law and tell you what to do. You can also threaten them, shoot them in their next story, or simply tell them to go to hell. You can do none of that with muses.
6. Writing flash fiction (1000 words and under) is the best exercise I've ever found for learning how to eliminate extraneous words and tighten prose.
7. It's okay to take a break and not write a single word for awhile.
8. Never submit a story the night you finish it, no matter how awesome it seems in the exhilaration of the moment.
9. Have at least one beta reader who gives it to you straight. And listen to them.
10. There is nothing you write that can't be improved in a re-write, even if that re-write means throwing out the original story and starting over from scratch.