Disclaimer: This is merely my own opinion. I am not a professional. Feel free to try this at home.
First of all, don’t just read, but read good stuff. Read books that inspire you to write because you love the way they are written, which has nothing to do with plot. Look at books that have won awards and consider what worked about those. Contrary to popular belief, being published is not validation. Look at the graveyard of books on the discount table at the bookstore and realize that publishers can make bad decisions. Not everything picked up by a publishing house (even a major one) is worth reading. I strongly believe that some people just got lucky when they were beamed in the head by a book deal. In fact, I’m totally sure.
There are two parts to writing: the craft and the art. The craft is about structure, discipline, plotting, the mechanics, kind of utilitarian. The art is about taking your words to the next level by using figurative language while having the good taste to know when less is more, which is like knowing that safari table and cheetah rug clash with the pink chandelier. It has more to do with aesthetics. In the world of fiction, we long for both in order to enjoy a book or to produce an enjoyable book. Some books I’ve read were strong in craft but weak in artistic merit. Some writers may truly love to write and weave metaphors, but they can’t figure out where they’re going enough to wrap up an idea or finish a book. Brainstorm. Do word associations. Mind map. Read the best writing. Use your journal as practice. Play with words in poetry. Try haiku, which forces you to summarize a thought in seventeen syllables. Study figurative language and do homework by writing your own hyperboles and metaphors and similes.
I hope this helps. 🙂