- Write every day because practice does make perfect. Even if it is only one hundred words that you end up throwing out. The discipline of writing every day will become an ingrained habit.
- Read, read, read. You cannot be a writer if you do not read. More specifically, read the genre that you want to write in. It is the perfect hands on learning.
- Enter some contests. There are loads of contests out there; you just need to find the one that is geared to what you are writing. The thing about contests is that sometimes you can get a free critique out of the deal. At the very least, you will learn how to format.
- Do something writing-wise that you would not normally do or that you are afraid of. For me this would be tackling the short story form. What about you? Facing your writing demons, learning about them and mastering them is a good way to flex your writing muscles.
- Buy a good grammar book and use it. We all forget and there are too many good grammar books out there not to have one on hand. I would recommend Grammar Girl by Mignon Fogarty, The Elements of Style by Strunk & White and/or The Blue Book of Grammar & Punctuation by Jane Strauss.
Writing is a fluid craft: there is always room for improvement, you never “graduate” because you are always learning.