If you apply the tricks of the trade you observe when reading the work of others, reading can definitely improve your writing skills. It has helped me enormously. It is the single most important piece of advice (apart from actually writing) that I give to people. It is a piece of advice I read a long time ago, in the 1970s or 1980s before the internet, on how to become a good writer. Read what you want to write, is what it said and that is what I say. Some people disagree but I am not sure how you can learn to write fantasy, for example, if all you read is autobiographies. They are two different genres of literature and utilize two different kinds of research and writing techniques. This is not to say that one must limit one’s reading to a single genre. Variety is good for the soul—and the brain. But it is very difficult to write something you don’t know about. Reading what you want to write is a pleasant way to get to know what you want to write, right?
, attended workshops, writing groups, read & write constantly, novel-in-progress