Two days ago, I touched on what I feel is some of the best advice for writers: read a lot, write a lot.
Let's expand on it, shall we? How much is a lot?
I don't really have an easy answer for that, except to say that you should be doing something in both realms every single day. Even if it's only for ten minutes, do something. In my opinion, you should be doing more writing than reading though. It's a lot like my past experience in sales. You can read all the books you want on sales and selling, but unless you start applying what you're learning, you're just going to spin your wheels and get nowhere.
Why do you need to read a lot?
Simple: you need to know what a story looks like, how it is structured. I'm not talking the three-act structure here, but there is a way stories are put together. We all know them. It's to just put them into words--no pun intended.