Write as often as you can, it doesn’t have to always be something you show to others, you can write on a scrap of paper and then burn it (carefully!), throw it in the bin, bury it, eat it…
Read lots of books about different topics, fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, websites, blogs, magazines, comics. It helps you find a style or genre you like and improves your vocabulary and knowledge base like nothing else.
Don’t worry about editing as you write, just let your pen/keyboard flow and then once you are finished, write a bit more, and then finally you can read over it and begin the editing process.
Read what you have written aloud as it helps to hear what words sound like. It will help to see if it flows, needs punctuation or if it is confusing
Your dictionary and thesaurus should be your best friend, sometimes I read them just for fun. Trust me, this is not as lame as it may sound it’s really interesting if you have a good, thick dictionary with pictures!
Writing is a very personal thing and you can choose the purpose for your words. If you just write them for yourself to help you think through things, or get through a tough time or to remember happy events then that is just fine. You don’t have to show your work to anyone if you don’t want to.
If you do send work off to competitions or publications like newspapers or magazines, cross your fingers, but try not to take the rejection personally. I have sent things off for over 30 years and mostly don’t hear back from people. Sometimes I feel hurt or angry or just plain ticked off, then I get over it and realise they must get hundreds of people sending them things and only a few people can get picked for publication or awards. It doesn’t mean your writing isn’t any good, it just wasn’t what they were looking for at that time. Don’t. Give. Up.