If you want to be a great writer, or even just a marginally good writer, you have to read.
You have to know what has been done and what people are doing now to gain any sense of what you should be doing. Spend time with contemporary short stories and poetry; look into plot-driven horror, character-driven pieces, “the masters,” and rising contemporary authors; explore journals, magazines, and blogs.
All writing is writing to someone (even if that someone is just you). Really consider the question: who is your audience? If you don’t have a readily defined audience, make one up and work from there. Sure, there are plenty of legendary writers with equally legendary appetites for getting drunk and high, but there are a few realities that are often overlooked.
How can you expect them to handle certain narrative decisions, plot devices, or characters? For one thing, addiction kills, and when it doesn’t kill, it ruins lives and relationships. Moreover, even for legendary writers, periods of greater productivity typically occurred in between (rather than during) the worst bouts of chemical excess.
This doesn't; mean, however, that you should just keep dumping words into your computer day in-day out and expect to grow. A number of noteworthy books address the subject of craft, and how you can work to develop yours. Some speak to specific audiences and some to more general audiences. Discuss your projects, their projects, what you’ve been reading, and where you’ve been submitting.
Share your work and your feedback with other writers, and hone your skills in an environment of healthy competition. The more people you know and interact with, the more you will grow, and the more opportunities you will encounter.Just like any other field, networking is a key to success.The writing workshop gives you a chance to develop your work alongside other writers, sharing, critiquing, and revising with the goal of improving your work and your skills.Find out what you enjoy and learn what people are writing and publishing right now.For a few quality online journals, check out: Don’t just read other stories or poems.Whether you’re writing a short story, long-fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, at some point in your education, you will likely be faced with the challenge of creative writing.You may do it because it’s required in your English or literature classes, or you may do it simply because you enjoy it.Sometimes you fail, but much more often, you simply need to revise… Yes, it can be tedious, but it’s a necessary part of the craft that separates writers from hobbyists and angst-filled teenagers. Take a step back from your work and approach it with a critical eye. Be ready to make substantial (and sometimes painful) revisions in the pursuit of great literature. Your darling could be a line, a scene, a poem or even a whole story. Your efforts are better spent working on something new.Sometimes you can become emotionally attached to a piece of writing that you are absolutely sure can be brilliant, but for one reason or another just doesn’t work. If you want to get serious about writing, submit some of it for publication. But you can’t get published if you don’t submit, so get your work out there. Learn from them, and remember that literally everyone who’s ever been published has a collection of rejection letters.If you want to write like them, you need to write; don’t go on a bender and expect brilliant prose to suddenly come pouring out.Writing is a skill, and like any skill, you have to practice it constantly if you want to be any good at it. Meet others who are writers or who are interested in writing (especially if their interests are similar to yours).