You can only get better at writing by actually doing it. Sure, I’ll admit finding the time can be hard. Sometimes you just don’t have the motivation either. But instead of finding ninety-nine other things to do, the best thing you can do for yourself is to plop down at the computer and simply write.
Yes, you know what I’m going to say: practice makes perfect. Writing is your golden key to becoming a better writer. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will become with words. Use dictionaries and thesauruses to expand your vocabulary. You’ll feel so much smarter, I promise. Now, don’t get crazy and throw huge words around for the sheer fun of it. Your friends won’t like you and, frankly, I wouldn’t either. Did you know that being able to express big concepts in simple words is actually a trait of skilled writers?
Start your practice by free-writing. It’s a method where you don’t restrict yourself with rules and expectations. Just write. Let the words flow. No pressure, and no stress. It is a great way to get a lot done and feel accomplished without looming deadlines hanging over your head. Write whatever comes to mind–it doesn’t need to make sense. Just get the words out. Do it on a computer, or in a notebook. That doesn’t really matter. Just write until you have absolutely nothing else left to say.
That’s when you’ll take a break, close it, and come back tomorrow to edit, revise, and write again. If you get into the habit of free-writing, you will always have material to work with.On days where you don’t feel very creative, you can always go and edit an old free-write. Once you’ve got several pages of raw writing, the refining will take time and also be the point where you will improve on all your skills. That is when you will edit it to make sense, and add more content to fill in the gaps.
You can read books, eavesdrop on conversations, and throw story ideas around in your author groups, but until you get around to actually writing, your skills will never get any better. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are good books.