I don’t know that I can put it down to any one single thing. Certainly the more I read, the more I know what makes good writing. Even the non-fiction that I read can feed into my fiction writing. All the elements, good plot, great description, crisp dialogue all can come by observation. Add to this the burning need to write and the simple act of just showing up at the page every single day, throughout the day. This can definitely assist in the process. The carrying around a notebook and writing down snippets as they come – be it dialogue or description or new plot ideas helps to build that foundation toward good writing as well. Above all, when someone asks you what you do, responding with, “I am a writer,” and knowing you are that. It isn’t enough that one wants to be a writer. You have to be one. Putting it in a future tense just disconnects you from your art. You have to acknowledge that you are a writer, right now.
Here on Livejournal, one of the things that probably helped the most is writing with others whose work I admire. I have met so many wonderful people, all of them incredible writers. Through those interactions I have been blessed with ending up working together with these writers on various pieces of fiction. At least three of those people are now my permanent writing partners, and one is now part of a screenwriting partnership with me. Some refer to that sort of interaction as roleplay or RP. I tend to call it collaborative fiction, because we work out a plot, and sometimes run dialogue and work out the details in email. The end product helps both writers, or in some cases a group of writers put together something that is interesting and goes in directions none of us individually imagined that it would go. Usually it all ends up as being a part of some great adventure, which is really why many of us write in the first place, isn’t it?