If I could turn back time.... Sound familiar? There are so many time helpers for today's writers, including the Internet, where you can learn all about writing--right from your home desk. I tell this story a lot, but then I lived through a really difficult time while trying to learn my craft. It seems like so much is available now, that ye olde school of hard knocks, doesn't seem possible. But it was--
Today's writers have much, much more available to them, just for the time spent/invested. It really is an investment: "You get out, what you put in" is really true.
Two hours a day is the general recommendation for learning a skill. And "Put Butt in Chair" is a real basic. If you're a writer, these two rules are prime: 1. It's an investment; you get out of writing, what you put in, and 2. Put Butt in Chair. If you're looking for the secret in getting published, those 2 rules are the not-so-secrets necessaries.
While traveling those 15 minutes to my day job, I used a recorder to make notes. That cassette recorder was 20 years old when it died last year. I wore something with pockets for the Magnificent Idea Notes. When I did get to work, when I had parked, I'd sometimes make notes, go over notes during lunch break and other breaks. I'm writing full-time now, and maybe working harder at my craft than I did when I was unpublished.
But when you're short on learning or review of the basics time, turn to podcasts :) Truly, while you're driving down the road, you can listen to the best stuff on writing, tips and interviews, grammar and style. Popular authors like Dean Koontz have their own podcasts. Writers on Writing is terrific with interviews. MP3 players make a terrific difference, if used as learning tools.
I've just finished a long, hard run and more eye-useage to go on adds, PR articles, etc., and am frankly enjoying an eye-break by listening to writer info and audiobooks on my MP3 player.