5 tips from author Jean Roberta:
1) Keep a dream diary, or at least tune in to your own stream of consciousness once in awhile, and jot down what slides through your mind. The most random, seemingly inappropriate or irrational thoughts or images can be the seeds of a very interesting piece.
2) Make time for writing. (This is easier said than done.) If necessary, put a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door of your study or bedroom.
3) Don't discard any piece of writing completely, but be willing to make big changes. If your novel, poem or story has been rejected a few times, consider ways to revise it. Something about that piece intrigued you in the first place. Try to find that core, and try to make it as clear as possible to your imaginary reader.
4) Before defining yourself as strictly a poet, strictly a short-story writer, or strictly anything else, dabble in different genres. An idea that doesn't seem to gell in a work of fiction might work in a poem. A story full of dialogue could be turned into a play. An overly complicated, "plotty" short story might want to become a novel.
(Note: if you're an erotic writer who wants to be known as a strict Dominant, you might have found a useful sideline.)
5) Don't try out your work-in-progress on relatives or close friends first. They are too involved in your life, and they will probably think the work is about them. Get feedback from people who know you as a writer.
Jean Roberta is the author of 'Something Natural' from Seriously Sexy, Vol 1. More of Jean Roberta's work can be found at http://www.jeanroberta.com/home.htm.