How do you hone your craft? You write. It doesn’t matter if it stinks and you can’t spell. What matters is you keep writing. Some people find that picking a specific time every day works well for their writing. Others do better if they just let it flow when the mood strikes. Either way, keep writing.
Another thing that makes you a better writer is reading. Read as much as you can. Yes, there are some excellent books on writing… feel free to check some of our recommendations. Besides that, just reading your favorite fiction can help you be a better writer. As you read and write more, you’ll find that you can’t help analyzing a particularly effective sentence or scene.
Combine what you learn from your reading with your writing sessions. Can you describe a setting as well as you read in that last story? Pick a different setting and see if you can’t do just as well. Try it with an action scene, or with internal thoughts of one of your characters. Be honest with yourself. Was your scene as effective as the scenes you are trying to emulate? This takes practice. Obviously you don’t want to just rewrite the original scene. This is why I recommend changing the setting, action or thoughts.
Above all, write.
Don’t publish until you’re ready. Sure, put something on your blog and ask for feedback, but don’t publish a book until you are sure your writing is up to the task. When you do feel you’re ready, get the book edited. This probably won’t be after the first or second draft; it may take you several drafts before you’re ready to hand your baby off to another’s hands. Even I get nervous about handing my writing off to someone else, but I know it is necessary to hone and polish my message.
Sometimes I need to take my own advice and write. It takes time, it’s true. But unless you make the time, it won’t happen, and writing will remain one of those unfulfilled dreams.
So, write. Write some more. Revise it. When you’re happy with it, we’re happy to help you from there with editing, book design and formatting.