Read, read, read as much of the genre of writing that you are seeking to write.
There’s nothing more beneficial for a writer than to read as much as they can. Keeping your mind immersed in the style of writing you prefer helps to feed and generate new story ideas, character traits, etc.
Keep a journal.
I have journals all over my house, and even carry one in my purse. Some of the best ideas I have gotten for stories and/or characters, action sequences, etc. are when I am out running errands, taking a walk, or sitting alone at a restaurant people watching. The most effective way to keep a hold of those great ideas are to have a way to jot them down in the moment it is happening.
Make a habit of writing every day.
One of the best practices and lessons I ever had during my graduate studies was from a writing professor who challenged the class to write for 30 minutes to an hour every day through the course. Some days, I wrote for a full hour, others I managed 10 minutes. The benefit, regardless of how much time you spend writing, is that it encourages the habit of writing and keeps your mind generating ideas.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
An important factor to keep in mind when writing is that your first draft will not be the final draft. A great lesson to learn early on is the process of proofreading, editing, and revision. Learning these vital parts of the writing process allows you to become a stronger writer and to continue creating solid work. Aspiring writers need to understand that creating a novel is a process from the first draft to the last. Lessening that pressure to hit a home-run can also keep the writer’s block bug from biting.
Set achievable goals for your writing endeavors.
Setting realistic goals for what it is that you are trying to create is a critical part to combat getting overwhelmed, and ultimately, giving up. Focus a chapter at a time, keep word limits realistic, and make sure that the chapter itself is a story with a beginning, middle, and end that fits into the overall story.
Remember when editing, you should always read a printed copy out loud.
Another excellent lesson that I learned early on in my writing courses was to print a hard copy and read it out loud when I started editing. This practice is one of the most effective when it comes to catching common mistakes like grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
Find and read books on writing from successful authors.
My top favorite, go-to writing book is Stephen Kings’ memoir, On Writing. King writes in direct, common vernacular that feels as if you are conversing one-on-one about the tools, tricks, and commitment to find success in the trade. His approach, openness, and catalog of writing tips are why I have continued visiting this book when in need of motivation and/or inspiration.
Find a writing community.
Whether it is online or a local community of writers, this support system can make or break a person’s will to write and stick to their aspirations. A group of like minded individuals can be a place to bounce ideas, share work, or simply get support when you feel you are struggling.