When people ask what my one piece of advice would be to new writers, I always say write and also read, which sounds kind of uninspired except that it is REALLY the best advice. Writers become writers by writing. They learn by writing. They learn by their mistakes and they figure out things and they become better. Reading helps. You have to read, but writing is #1 way to get better.
I wrote five novels before I was published. I wrote five novels where I was learning how to write. I thought they were good at the time. I loved writing them. But they weren't really very good. When I figured out why, little by little, I got better. I'm still working on getting better with everything I write.
I was looking at this youtube by Brandon Sanderson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pLdI8f5BiI
Check it out for inspiration. He wrote 12 novels and hadn't made a penny off of them. He thought the first five were practice but he thought the sixth was very good and he felt like he knew what he was doing. He felt that way about the subsequent novels he wrote, too. But none of them were published. Finally, though, someone did agree to publish #6 which was called Elantris and it became a big hit. Now he's a bestseller.
We've all heard these stories. They're rare but what I like about Sanderson's is that he just kept writing. Twelve books. Whether you traditionally publish or publish independently, you still have to deal with finding an audience. That can be hard. A lot of it is random. A lot of it is luck. What you can control though is your work, your writing, your learning how to write better each book. So the simplest advice---keep writing--is still the best as far as I'm concerned. Write what you love and what you really want to write. Be aware that your writing isn't perfect and keep looking for ways to improve. You'll find your way and you'll love what you're doing.
ALSO, I have a new novel coming out on 2/10/15
My publisher is giving away ten copies of Utopia, Iowa at YABC........