I've touched on this topic before, but as each new year rolls around, it just seems like the perfect time to address the idea that success in writing depends upon mainly one thing: YOU!
The goals you set for yourself will mean the difference between being a dreamer and becoming an author. Put all failures in the past and look ahead to your potential, whether that includes actually becoming published or simply starting the framework that you'll need to move in that direction. That framework will includes things such as:
1) Network with other writers--especially successful ones! Learn from their experiences, but be genuine in your interest. Authors have paid their dues and don't like to simply be "picked" for info.
2) Write your goals down. If they're only in your head, that's where they'll stay. Make them tangible. Write them and put them on your mirror, on the dashboard of your car. On your cell phone. Make a fake book cover with your title and name on it and SEE it happening.
3) Commit to write. You have to prioritize your writing. If you treat it like a hobby that comes after every other responsibility, big or small, it will fade away with your enthusiasm. Writers don't write because they like to all of the time, they do it because they want to succeed and to succeed they have to write.
4) Celebrate your successes. From an editorial in the newspaper to writing that Christmas letter, put your heart into it and be proud of your ability to do something that most people struggle with. Expressing yourself through words is a true gift, so be proud of it and others will, too.