Good Advise, but I think the most import is this:
5. Bad habit: Forgetting that this is all about the reader. When we start to write, quite naturally it’s all about us. We have a story to tell or a problem to work out. Then when we start to submit, it’s going to be all about the agent and editor–we want to craft the query letter and the book to capture the attention of the elite industry professional who can make our publishing dreams come true. That’s all perfectly normal. The danger comes when we forget that the whole purpose of writing novels is to connect with readers. When we do what touches or moves or surprises our reader, we will be fulfilling our mission. This means we have to stop being defensive. If our work doesn’t entertain the readers, we should find out why. Often we can make that connection without losing what we personally love about our story–but we can’t get to that point if we decide the reader doesn’t matter. The reader matters most of all. That’s why we write.