Alright, roll up your sleeves, because you’re about to get a little grubby practicing your craft. I’m sure you’ve seen artisans–musicians, painters, weavers, welders, etc.–slaving away at their work, their labor of love, to produce the best product they can. There’s the crux of it: quality.
How good do you want your writing to be? Do you really want to settle for mediocrity? Of course not! You want your writing to sparkle and shine, to sing and dance, to have a life of its own well beyond the final printing of it. You want to engage your Readers, entertain them, make them stop to consider what you’ve shared with them, leave them smarter / stronger / more well-equipped to navigate the world once they’ve finished your story. Well, then, you have to be writing on a regular basis to grow and improve.
First, make a decision. How much time can you typically devote to writing during any given day? Do you have hours to spare, or do you only have minutes? Whatever is available to you, be reasonable with yourself; set achievable goals. Don’t budget 3 hours when your only break is a half-hour lunch, and the rest of your day is filled to overflowing with responsibilities. Either legitimately shed some of your busy-ness, or learn to make do with the small blocks of time you can eke out in your life.
Second, above and beyond anything else, make writing a daily habit. Sure, writing Post-It notes, emails, text messages, and filling out a check all kind of classify as writing, but you need to take time with the story(ies) you’re currently bringing into being. That’s right: focus! You have characters in situations you’ve left hanging, and their tales won’t be told unless you write it down for them. Listen to them; watch them closely for a few minutes; ask them how they feel and let them ramble. Then write it all down! They’ll thank you for doing so. Unfortunately, most story characters have never understood the concept of a journal / diary, so you have to transcribe their lives for them.
Third, you need to have someone you trust to review, critique, and possibly help edit your masterpiece. Scary? Got trust issues? Well, consider this: by letting someone else put eyes on your work before it goes out into the world, you stand a better chance of it being received well. Didn’t you write it so that many thousands of people would read it? Then get a handful of folks to preview it, as a sort of ‘test case’ to see how they respond to it. The feedback they provide could save you lots of embarrassment, give you suggestions to fix little things (or big glaring continuity gaps), and help catch all the small-fry SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar) errors, so those mistakes don’t wind up in what you thought was a finished product.
All the sub-menus you find here will Help You in these endeavors. I’m including practice sessions, story starters, word play, links to other sites, pointers toward tools and resources. It’s up to you to avail yourself of them. Use what seems might be of benefit; don’t feel obligated to do everything. Just jump in and start with what grabs your attention, then move on to other things as the inclination moves you. Others have already blazed some of these trails and been successful. Let me know which items made a positive impact for you.