When I tell people I wrote a novel, the most common responses I receive fall into two categories: 1) I could never do that and 2) I’ve wanted to do that (but haven’t).
When I hear that someone has always wanted to write, but hasn’t, my first thought is “Well, what is stopping you?” Some people like the idea of writing but not the practice of it. These people are focused on the ends rather than the means, and either don’t realize how much work writing is, or realize it so much it prevents them from ever writing a word.
Those are the perfectionists, and a lot of writers are perfectionists—I was one. Perfectionists make great editors, but lousy creative writers.
Julia Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way) calls this the “Censor.” The Censor is the voice that tells you what you just wrote was complete crap. The Censor wants you focused on the passive voice you just used…or the punctuation you totally skipped over in the last sentence… or how you have no idea yet how to end your novel…so you don’t know if this idea you just thought of is relevant, RATHER than focused on getting the idea out on paper RIGHT NOW.
Writing does not happen magically. It is not easy. But it is not impossible. If you really want to write, you have to put away the excuses (“I’m not good enough,” “I don’t have a good enough idea,” “I don’t have enough time”) and JUST WRITE.
Try writing every day for a couple of weeks. Do this: when you wake up, write three handwritten pages. Three pages about ANYTHING. Whatever is on your mind, write down on the page. Julia Cameron calls them the Morning Pages, and they are a quick way to find out if you enjoy writing or not.
So if you want to be a writer, go write. The rest of us are just winging it anyway.