Being a newb in any profession is awkward and humbling. You're on a constant mission to collect information and experience so that you'll no longer be branded as the 'new guy'. Your best friend is anyone willing to share information and advice without teasing you for your ignorance. The only way to stop being branded a newb is to become competent and experienced in your profession...
or to become more competent and experienced than the newest member of your team. (See how that works?)
In the writing community, being a newb shouldn't be as daunting as being a newb in the gaming community. This all depends on the people you surround yourself with. If you associate with people who tease you, berate you, or discourage you, your experience will be unpleasant and it may even turn you away from the interest you have in writing. You will encounter people like these, even if you're careful what blogs, forums, and websites you visit. The best thing to do when this happens is to ignore them and don't respond to their baiting. (If a person is consistently bothering you or others, chances are he's a troll and you don't want to 'feed' the trolls. Trolls don't respond to reason or logic, since their purpose is to see how angry they can make you.)
To survive being a newb in any community, writing included, you need to find a safe place to learn and mingle with like-minded people. Scout these out carefully through research, exploration, and recommendations from others. A good place (forum, website, coffeehouse, etc) will be where you spend most of your time interacting with the community, so you want to know your way around it, know the atmosphere and the people who frequent it. This will take time in itself, so the research beforehand is a good idea.
Once you've found a place, be friendly, humble, and willing to learn. These are the best qualities a newb could have to propel her out of newb status to leet. Take part in things, reach out to others, don't be afraid to try. If you fail in front of helpful people, they'll support you and encourage you to try again. Seek out someone who could become a good friend, a guide to the profession and its community or even someone just starting out like you. If you're blessed enough to find a mentor who knows the whole thing inside-out, that's great. Never turn down advice from someone who knows more than you do. You might not be able to use it now, but it's good to know for later.
To recap, this is How to Survive Being a Newb:
- Find a safe place to mingle and learn
- Be friendly, humble, and willing
- Make a friend
- Listen to advice (and thank them for it)
- Don't be afraid to try