Whether you’re writing a short story, long-fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, at some point in your education, you will likely be faced with the challenge of creative writing.
You may do it because it’s required in your English or literature classes, or you may do it simply because you enjoy it.
It also bears noting that you’re not a legendary writer.
If you think you are, you’ve probably got bigger issues to work out than this article can help with. Thompson or Ernest Hemingway did it, that you can do it too.
If you want to be a great writer, or even just a marginally good writer, you have to read.
You have to know what has been done and what people are doing now to gain any sense of what you should be doing. Spend time with contemporary short stories and poetry; look into plot-driven horror, character-driven pieces, “the masters,” and rising contemporary authors; explore journals, magazines, and blogs.
This doesn't; mean, however, that you should just keep dumping words into your computer day in-day out and expect to grow. A number of noteworthy books address the subject of craft, and how you can work to develop yours. Some speak to specific audiences and some to more general audiences. Discuss your projects, their projects, what you’ve been reading, and where you’ve been submitting.
Share your work and your feedback with other writers, and hone your skills in an environment of healthy competition. The more people you know and interact with, the more you will grow, and the more opportunities you will encounter.
Getting published by a journal, magazine or press, no matter how small, acts as a stamp of approval.
It means you put in the work and you’ve been vetted.