You may be a natural. Maybe you studied Creative Writing or English Composition in College, but don’t use that degree as a crutch or allow it to lull you into a false sense of security.
Competition is fierce. Just because you know the mechanics or can put words together to form a grammatically and structurally sound sentence, doesn’t mean you can write a novel. Just because it sounds good to you, doesn’t make it a publishable piece of work, and remember, Grammar Is A Must-But Lose That English Teacher Writing!
If you’ve already started writing that number one best-seller, consider a pause to backtrack and gather the tools necessary to complete your task in a satisfactory manner.
You don’t have to put a lot of money into writing if you have a computer and the internet. There’s a world of information right at your fingertips. I follow sites of successful-published authors, publishing agencies, and fellow bloggers.
I have also taken courses online from Udemy and Great Courses. They were all less than Twenty dollars and offered invaluable information.
One of the most recommended books out there for writers, new and published, is “The Element of Style” by William Shrunk and E.B. White. I was able to get this book through ebooks on Amazon for free. It’s an excellent resource providing information on how to use punctuation in novels, words and expressions commonly misused, frequently misspelled words, elementary principles of composition, and much more. There is a newer revised version available for purchase, but I don’t think that’s necessary. That would be your call.
You can also get samples of many of the books relevant to what you are doing through Amazon at no cost. These sample books range from 25-50 pages and are packed with very useful information. I have gotten several on creative writing – a weakness of mine. Last but not least, check out your local library.
Conferences for your specific genre would be the ultimate goal, but many people don’t have the time/money for the luxuries of attending conferences, meeting publishers, or taking a writing course at the local community college, but you can still pursue your dream. Maybe these could be future goals.
Hope this helped.