I believe writing is a skill. You learn it just like any other skill. Yes, some may have a greater aptitude for it, but anyone can learn to write well if they practice enough.
There are certain things you do to hone your skills, just like practicing drills for the piano. One of those is writing exercises.
Another one is to enter writing contests. This not only lets you practice writing, it also lets you practice following guidelines, submitting, and—if you're lucky—it provides some feedback from professionals.
That is why I run the occasional short story contest here on this blog. I want to give you a head's up on an upcoming writing contest, because this time, not only will it act as a writing drill and give you valuable feedback, it will also give some of you publishing creds!
Every year, I host a Christmas themed writing contest here. I will do so again this year—but not in December. It will be coming up the end of the summer.
Why so early?
Because I'll be taking the best of them and turning them into a published short story collection that will be published and available for purchase on Amazon.
So get started on your story. Story guidelines will be very similar to these. (More information coming later this summer.)