As for the old question, do you write every day, my answer to that is kind of given my workload does slow down for Wimbledon, Christmas etc. The great thing with these events though is they are held at the same time each year (!) so it is easy enough to plan extra work for the few days before them and the few days afterwards. That way if I average out how many words I produce, I would find I do effectively write daily.
I listen to a lot of radio comedy. It gives a good feel for dialogue and the art of comic timing but I also use it as a test. If I hear most of a programme, it means my scene or story needs a lot of work. If I hear some of a programme, my scene or story needs some work. If I have to replay the programme because I barely heard any of it, it’s a good sign. If I’m engrossed, hopefully readers will be too. Most of the time, I hear some of the programme so that means a darned good edit is going to be needed.
Have a go at different writing tasks. It makes life interesting and gives you something to work on while your main idea is ticking over. And it may end up giving you another string to your bow. Stretching yourself is good for you!
Always write down ideas that occur to you as soon as you can. You will forget them otherwise. Flesh ideas out later. You never know where that might lead and it can be fun finding out! “Collect” ideas. Ideas need to be a renewable resource for writers. Think about how things you come across can fit in with what you’re doing. In my case and taking a rough example, if there was a political scandal here, could I write something similar affecting the Fairy Queen and her Council? What would the impact on her realm be?
Keep a diary of what you do writing wise. Not only will it help you organize yourself, and keep track of what you sent where, I’ve found I’ve been inspired to want to fill all those blank pages. My output has increased tremendously in 2009! Writers’ News and Writing Magazine bring out an annual competitions guide and a writing diary is a good way of helping you organize your deadlines for the ones you want to have a go at.
Try to make time to read novels, short stories and writing magazines. You need this to inspire your own creativity as well as showing you markets to try and so on. I try to combine reading with a stint on my exercise bike so I give my body and mind a work out at the same time! Also keep in touch with the news, developments in science etc as ideas can be triggered from these too. You want ideas coming in from all kinds of sources and then make something wonderful out of them all as you use them to fire your own fiction.