Keep writing and editing separate
Don’t try to edit as you write the first draft. The whole point of the first draft is to get your ideas down. You shape them later. Switch off the inner editor until you have something to work with.
Writers' and Artists' Yearbook
Keep an up-to-date copy of The Writers’ and Artists’ Handbook. Contact details do change frequently.
Don’t give up!
Do your research
Research agents, publishers etc. Check details out against the Jonathan Clifford website (given he’s spent his life fighting the publishing industry’s “sharks”). Don’t be afraid to ask questions (but do some research first so you ask sensible ones, not something that a quick look on the net would’ve told you).
Short Story Time Periods
Remember when writing short stories you are looking at a relatively short period of time in which your tale “happens” so focus on one character, one major change of life event and one viewpoint. You haven’t room (word count) to have too many characters, viewpoints etc.
Writing short stories and entering them for (reputable) competitions is good practice at writing to a theme and to a deadline.
Short Story Magazines
Buy the magazines you would like your short stories to appear in. It is a question of supporting your own!