Do you have any ritual activity you do before you sit down and begin to write?
It can be anything from journaling, listening to music, walking, going out for a cup of coffee, or anything that works for you to clear your head of the daily gunk so you can have an uncluttered mind so the words flow easily from your mind to the screen.
There is a good deal about rituals for clearing one’s mind in order to be open to the art of writing.
Once you begin writing, just put the words down and don’t worry about editing along the way, editing comes later.
Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way talks about Morning Pages, which I affectionately call Mourning Pages as a way to clean the stuff from my life to get rid of it. Julia also speaks about Artists Dates. This is the time to get out and smell the roses, time to see how real people interact in situations. As writers, it's ok for you to people watch, just don’t be obvious about people watching.
How can you write about real characters if you never see any?
If your readers can’t relate to the setting, and the characters being in the setting, they will probably not like what you’ve written. I know as a reader I don’t. We all want to believe in the people, place, and time in the book we choose to read.
Rituals are something to tell the mind that now it’s time to settle down and write, to get the creative juices flowing for the time you spend writing a book, article, or blog post.
I hope you have a blog; it’s a good way to improve your writing. I always try to write using the active voice, and compare myself against the last piece I wrote to measure my improvement. I never compare myself to other writers, only myself since I am the only one that has something to say in the way I say it.