This list is a remix of the points in my book, Steal Like An Artist. The big idea is that writing isn't a magical ability that some people have and some don't. Writers learn to write by reading a lot and by writing a lot.
You can watch the talk that explains it on my website.
Austin Kleon is a writer who draws. He’s the author of two best-selling books: Steal Like An Artist (2012) is an illustrated manifesto for creativity in the digital age, and Newspaper Blackout (2010) is a collection of poetry made by redacting words from newspaper articles with a permanent marker.
The Austin Chronicle is currently accepting submissions for its annual Short Story Contest. (Postmark deadline Dec. 10, 2012; see more rules and regs.) Check the Books blog all week for more encouraging bits from published authors and past Short Story Contest winners.