In the world of writing, there are three types of writers. First, there are people who like to write, but do not possess the gift. Extra effort is put into writing their stories, but they get it done. The second type are the people who possess the ability to write, but do not hone their craft. These good writers are content with mediocrity. Then there are the gifted writers with the ability and the drive to become better. They will do what they need to do to be the best they can be.
Regardless of which category you fall into as a writer, reading, researching and writing transform good writers into great writers.
Read everything you can – newspapers, magazines, billboards, test messages, license plates, sales letters, commercials – everything. You will become familiar with the different writing styles, and get a sense of what you like and do not like. You will get a better understanding of punctuation placement and grammar usage. Most importantly, your knowledge base will grow which will not only make you a more well-rounded writer but an interesting person.
Research adds substance to your already interesting topic. Information is all around you. Therefore, you do not have to venture very far to get it. The library is the single best resource for anything you need or want to know. Information is at your fingertips with the internet. Technology is so great you can access nearly any library from the internet. However, there is nothing like a visit to a library to obtain the original source of data. Do not discount the value of people as sources. New knowledge can be gained through casual conversations and interviews.
A writer cannot be a writer without writing. Put everything on paper no matter how irrelevant you think it is. Small thoughts can turn into great stories. Your grammar, punctuation and sentence structure will definitely improve. Additionally, you will develop a unique writing style and voice which will set you apart from your fellow scribes.
Essentially, no matter what your skill level is as a writer, you can only perfect your writing with reading, researching, and writing.