Writing is a skill and, like most skills, it can be learned or at least you can vastly improve the writing ability that you have (and everyone has some writing aptitude). You can most easily improve your writing skills by writing. You could supplement that practice by reading and you could go a stage further by studying some grammar. There are also writers’ groups or workshops you could attend.
But in essence, the best thing to do is merely write and keep on writing and if you are not sure of something, look it up and fairly soon, you will find that you will spend less and less time looking things up. You could purchase reference books and dictionaries or you could simply use free on line resources.
Never feel that you cannot write well enough to create something. If you are nervous about your ability, write in forums, add comments to blogs or write articles for places like Gather. Whatever you do, you should keep practicing and continue writing. You will find that it gets easier and that ideas start to flow more smoothly.
Once you deem that you can write well enough, why not attempt to make some money out of it? You could author ebooks on your favourite topics or on issues that have an effect on a large number of of individuals. You can find out what those problems are by visiting chat sites and forums or reading the ‘Agony Aunt’ columns in the papers.
Let us assume that you have gone past the comments in forums period and you are writing pieces for Gather. Keep copies of those pieces on your hard drive and arrange them in folders by issue.
When you have a few hundred, you can look through them and strive to assemble a few topics into enough material for a book. You might have 80% of a book doing nothing on your hard drive and you can fill in the gaps and revise the old material a little.
In the meantime, add your name to the sites that are searching for writers. They may want to see an instance of your work before they qualify you, but that is no problem – it is nice to pass tests and educational if you fail them.
If you are given a issue to write on as an assignment, concentrate on getting your facts straight and do not copy from others (plagiarize). It is a writer’s greatest sin. After writing your article, check it for grammar and spelling.
It is not worth saving a copy of this piece after you have been paid for it, because it will no longer be your work and you could get into trouble for claiming that it is yours.
You sold the rights to it, just as good as if you sold your car. The best thing to do with your own copies of sold pieces is to erase them after being paid, then there is no enticement and no risk of mistakes.
When you have written articles for others, you could register to write ebooks as well. If you are being paid to do it, get all the relevant details before you begin and stick to them. You will have to know: the title of the book; the minimum and maximum length of it in words; the delivery date and how much you will be paid. There might be other details too such as: font type, font size and line spacing, but they can all be adjusted later.