I read a lot... I mean a lot. Either short stories, novellas, novels... And when I'm not reading I'm listening to audio books...
Sorry the wife just came in and kissed me and I got a little distracted... What was I saying? Reading... That's right.
When you're a writer, reading takes on a whole new meaning. The stories have a way of presenting themselves on a whole new level. Every word has a certain meaning, sentence structure and style become ever noticeable. You live the written word. It took me a long time to figure that out.
What can I say I'm a slow study.
I didn't understand POV, and giving one character a chance to shine in his or her (or it, considering I write science fiction) own chapter.
You want to become vested in a character, because let's face it. If you, as the storyteller can't get wrapped up in what your character is all about, then your reader certainty won't.
If you and the people in your story don't click, then what you're trying to get across to your reader won't click. It's that simple.
I study the art of writing everyday... You have to. I'm sure you heard the saying, "writers need to read" and that's the truth. But as you read, you have to study - you have to immerse yourself in the art, watch how the author uses the art to convey their story (without copying of course) and take time to understand it.
And here's one other tidbit, find a writer you like. For me, as of late it's Jim Butcher, and find as many things as you can (YouTube is the best) to hear him or her speak. Chances are, they will tell you things about writing that you never considered. And if you have the chance to see them in person, then drive, drive hours to get a chance to meet them. It will add a perspective you didn't have before.
So in the end of this ramble, the point is, read, study, interact with others in the profession (either professionals or novices) it will bring a whole new outlook on your own work.