Practice writing, and be glad ignorance is bliss – until it fails to get you success in landing a book contract.
Learn about the professional writing process because you don't know as much as you think you do about commercial books.
Begin with a 10- to 25-word pitch.
Begin a blog and work on creating your platform.
Expand the pitch into a query or summary.
Bash your head against your desk because this turns out to be more difficult than it feels it should be.
Write the Outline and create a story arch on a board.
Check to make sure you don't have a concussion.
Keep blogging your progress, and keep trying to build your platform.
Also, try to drum up excitement for your book by talking about it until people want to kill you just to shut you up about it.
Write the synopsis.
Cry because the synopsis is destroying the threads that hold your brain together by making you think too hard.
Begin the crap-draft, I mean first draft, of the story.
Celebrate like a five-year old at a birthday party because you have finished the first draft.
Revise and edit over and over until it makes you want to die.
Create a story guide to remember everything for bigger books, and for series.
Get unprofessional opinions in order to test your target audience's love or hate of it.
Ask them questions about it until they chase you away with a knife.
Get professional help and join a critique group.
Buy a straight jacket because you might need it.
Revise and edit over and over until you feel like a zombie.
Chain yourself to the chair if you think you might start craving brains.
Fix the dialogue and the grammar.
Try desperately to hook an agent or a publisher, or Self-Publish without a care that it could actually still be crap.
If you fail, take some classes or find helpful information about writing.
Or feel angry / lost / determined / like the world has ended.
Tomorrow morning, continue hitting the wall or begin a new book.
Begin part of the process again, and try once more to get an agent or a publisher.
If you get the deal and get published, celebrate like you have just escaped a swarm of killer bees.
Continue blogging about your progress, and offer the book to your following on the web.
Go to book readings and signings, get on the radio, and promote the hell out of your book.
Be proud of yourself. Now start over with another book.
Teach people your process, even if you haven't made it to the third line yet.
If someone wants to make a movie of your book, scream like a little girl, but be suspicious of who the director will be.
And that is how you become a successful writer...