1) Learn the basics, if you haven't already. Basics of photography include composition, which is essentially the placing of a subject within the frame of a photograph, lighting, and the basic workings of your camera. See How to Take Better Photographs for some introductory material.
2) Be ready. At least half of the time, the difference between a great photograph and a mediocre one is being in the right place at the right time, with a camera in your hand. Carry your camera with you as often as you can. Make sure to use your camera often, too. Just carrying it around does no good.
Did you catch the spoiler word in my logic, "anything that presented itself?" I was a spectator. I thought that photography involved taking pictures of things that came along. NO! You have to get out there and find things. Finding and seeing are the hard part...[t]aking a picture of what you find is the trivial part.
So get up, get out there and take photographs. Go out at every time of day, every day, and look for things. Don't wait for the right opportunity to come along (but be prepared if it does!); go out and find them. Look for opportunities everywhere you go (whether you're at the mall or on the other side of the world), and go to places to look for opportunities. If you can see something in your mind, chances are you can set it up and shoot it!
Look for colours. Or do the opposite: look for a total absence of colour, or shoot in black-and-white.
Show the best of your work to other people. Which is to say, find the best of your work and show only that to other people. Even the greatest photographers don't take superb shots every single time; they're just very selective about what they show to others.
- Give yourself a tutorial. If you own a camera and have its manual, read the manual and play with the options as you read. Read in a place where you will not be distracted.
- Buy a modern book on photography. Save money and buy a used book as long as it is relatively current. Sample and look at many photography books before buying. Also, look at a variety of magazines (music, people, homes, gardens, architecture, babies - whatever interests you). How do the pictures look? What are the photographers doing?
- Make a concentrated effort to make every shot count. Typically, one shot in twenty might be a keeper, one in one hundred is good, one in a thousand is a "Wow" photo, and if you are lucky, you might get the shot of a lifetime over your life that everyone can appreciate.