From many, many, many, many, many, many entries ago, I mentioned how I loved to browse wikiHow to read some of the most amusing, intriguing, and hilariously depressing how-to articles. I caught myself grazing through and decided to see what they had up the "writing" alley and "writing/editing career" street. I wasn't aware of how much I already knew until I started reading these how-to articles out of curiosity -- sadly, most of them are the same: start writing, submitting, cope with rejection and keep writing and submitting. Join your high school or local newspaper staff ASAP.
However, what concerns me the most is that very few of these articles (may I say, none?) stressed the importance of reading. There was one article that mentioned that reading through magazines to get a sense of voice and style, but reading in general is a must. There are other types of writing styles out in the world beyond magazines and online articles (shock to those who don't read, those who do are rolling their eyes at me right now). Try new styles, try new angles, and learn new words by reading.
I've heard from so many people that writing/publishing is a dying art, but I don't think that's entirely true. People are still reading a lot -- maybe more -- because of so much online access to books, magazines, and blogs.
My advice for people who want to become writers would be not to. People who want to be writers are (a lot of the time) people who just want to be published and be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyers. For what it's worth, I don't consider Stephenie Meyers a talented writer. Anyone with half an ounce of knowledge of writing and literature would be able to tell you that. People read it because it's crack. It's bad for you and a waste of your time.
Anyway, because I like precision, here's the division of people: those who want to be writers and those who want to be better writers. People who want to improve their writing already have the passion and, most likely, talent to consider themselves writers. People who want to be writers just want to be famous. There is a difference between person A who writes, throws entire drafts away, hides stories, poems, and letters in their drawers and perhaps one day submits an article/story -- and person B whom, after finishing their first draft of their first story, sends it to every publishing company and crosses their fingers for a movie franchise deal in the near future.
But this is my generalization. Arguments of how wrong I am are welcomed.