- They never finish anything
- They never send anything out
- They never seek feedback
- They allow rejections to rule their outlook
- They don't research the markets
- They are careless in manuscript preparation
- They don't believe "Da Rools" are for them
- They don't understand what "professional" means
- They have a limited understanding of their own language
- They would rather "be" a writer than "become" one
That said, persistence pays, and it only takes one acceptance to restore some of that wounded ego. You don't get acceptances if you don't haul the junk out of the drawer and send it out.
Reason #3 is a major cause of failed-writeritis. Your story may be good. Or not. Aunt Martha's opinion may make you feel better, but is Aunt Martha an editor, a professional writer, an English teacher, or a bibliophile who has read everything from Kafka to Heinlein and knows the difference between good literature and bird-cage liner? Writing in a vacuum leaves you vulnerable to stupid grammar mistakes, tired plots, cardboard characters, cliches, and newbie uncertainty. Ask. For. Help. There are too many great workshops out there, freely accessible and mostly free of charge, to twiddle your thumbs in a self-imposed bubble. Unless, of course, you want to spend the rest of your life getting rejections without knowing why.
An amazing number of people blithely violate #5. Research smeesearch. They neither read the magazines they want to be published in nor even the writers' guidelines put out by same. They send fantasy to SF markets, horror to children's markets, and erotica to Christian markets because they did not bother to check what those magazines want. Nor do they keep up with what is being published to see if their story is using a tired idea or doesn't fit the writing standard the editors are looking for. Besides, what editors say they want and what appears in the magazine often seems to be a disconnect. They're people. Occasionally a story comes over the transom they just can't resist. However, the odds of yours being one of them sink dramatically by simply firing stuff off in hope.
There are many guidelines for manuscript preparation but many people are clueless anyway. This relates directly to #8. Failing to grammar- and spell-check your masterpiece is a sure road to the rejection slip. Badmouthing the editor who rejected your unreadable masterpiece is another. Professionalism means treating your writing with the same level of attention and respect that you would take to your day job. The editor is your boss. Your story is an interview, and it surely will not get you the job if it is not dressed correctly, doesn't have the proper job skills, and doesn't get there within the reading window.
Reason #8 relates to #7. Writing is full of rules, from manuscript prep to grammar. People who fall into the trap in #9 are not likely to overcome #7. Understand the language you are writing in before attempting to violate rules of grammar in the name of style. Prove you can write before you start using run-on sentences or other stylistic tricks. Get rid of the ellipses. Learn what parentheses are for. Understand what paragraphs are designed to do. Best of all, learn proper punctuation, because no editor will sit through abusive punctuation from page 1. Da Rools apply to everybody, because no reader wants to suffer in the name of art. That's your job.
And now we come to my personal favorite, #10. I used to get students all the time who, when asked, said they wanted to be web designers. These students invariably ended up in the middle or bottom of the class. On the other hand, the students who stated without doubt that they wanted to become web designers did very well. They understood the difference between dreams and the hard work required to make them happen. You can scribble words on paper all day long but it won't make you a writer. You must master the good sentence and the good paragraph before tackling the good story. Once you can string grammatically correct and pleasing prose together, you can worry less about the mechanics of the writing and more about the progress of the plot and character development. And people will be a lot more inclined to read it.
Let the quibbling begin. . .