I am a huge fan of Gennifer Choldenko & her Newbery honor book, Al Capone Does My Shirts, and the sequels, Al Capone Shines My Shoes and Al Capone Does My Homework. Gennifer was kind enough to give us a writing tip.
Build your writing muscles. The muscles for writing take time to develop.
I am perfectly happy sitting at my desk writing for 6 or 7 hours a day, but that’s because I’ve spent years doing this and I’m used to it. When you’re starting out, give yourself a regular space and time to write. During your designated writing time, do not do anything else. Don’t go online, wander around the house, answer your email, make calls or fold the laundry. Just sit with your manuscript and try, just for that day, to make the story a little stronger, the characters a little deeper than they were the day before. That is, in fact, what I do every day.