The greatest thing any fledgling writer must do is study his or her craft. Especially the variegated stages of writing. Learn them well, and remember never ever break them. I start with essay writing and get a lot of experience from it. They are tried and true methods. Learn it first or you will eventually after much heartache and frustration learn them later. The writing craft is simple – learn it well and you will succeed, go at it the wrong way and you will fail. The choice is yours. If you want to just write for yourself you can truly do it any way you want to. However if you want to be taken seriously as a writer.