Larry L. King, a respected Texas playwright and National Book Award-nominated author of many books, said this, and it is, in my eyes, quite true.
To become a great writer, one must sit down and write. Words must flow from your pen. It could be a short story, a poem, or even a journal entry. Writers must strive to write every single day, even if it is only jotting down ideas or scribbling.
Afterwards, you must rewrite (edit) those ideas, stories, and poems. As an editor, rewriting is important; words need to be shaped, enhanced, and strengthened. No piece is ever finished -- you can always go back, rewrite it, and remaster your writing.
And who doesn't love to read? When we read, we are inspired, and sometimes, our writing style changes to show homage to authors we love and admire. For instance, if I take a break to read a chapter of a book by Neil Gaiman or Clive Barker, I'll come back to my own writing with fresh ideas on style, creative language, and characters.
Do you try to take a shortcut, or do you use all three ingredients in your writing?