If I have to pick up the best writing advice among the vast sea of those which I gathered so far, it would probably be this one – read a lot and write a lot.
There is no better way to master the craft than reading. Reading and analyzing other’s finished products is like a gift; you are given the opportunity to experience something that another writer dedicated his time and passion. You can learn from her mistakes and you can admire the great things that she has done and try to outplay her; be even better.
Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of writers who claim that they don’t read because they don’t have enough time. I’ve never met a football player who doesn’t watch football games. They know all the players, all the teams and they remember the remarkable amount of details from various championships. I’ve also met some writers who can say the same about the books they’ve read, but not as nearly as many. I also have trouble remembering details from the majority of the books that I’ve read. Usually, I remember the emotion that I’ve received from that book and I try to replicate it in my writing.
Read anything, not just your genre, not just fiction. Read whatever gives you pleasure. Sooner or later you will become hooked to it and you would rather choose reading than browsing through social networks or watching TV or anything else.
Writing is important because unless you write, you are just intellectualizing it. You need to put 10,000 hours into practice, or as much as it takes you, before you can be good at something. You might say that is a myth, but I honestly believe that it’s not.
While writing, you will learn from your own mistakes, especially while editing. You will develop your voice, your style, your rhythm. Once you practice it enough you will be able to tune into it faster and efficient and the sound you hear in your head will resonate clearer.
My suggestion is to write daily and the easiest form of that is a diary or a blog; apart from improving your writing skills, they will also help your personal development. If you don’t have any writing project, like a novel, or non-fiction book, or anything long term, you can always practice on short stories or you can write reviews, rewrite somebody else’s work just for the sake of practice. Write anything, but write every day. Writing is like a muscle. It needs practice.