The key to becoming a writer, an artist, or a painter comes from the fact that what you spend your time doing, focusing on, and choosing to act like is what you become. If you want to be an artist, you have to dive in, fearless, get as much of it as you can, talk to artists, make art, visit galleries, gain knowledge- live in the art world.
To be an artist, you need to be acting like an artist as often as possible; creating, buying supplies, trying, failing, more creating, getting your clothes covered in paint. To become a writer, you need to be acting like a writer, doing what writers do as often as possible; owning a laptop (or typewriter if you like), writing, deleting, thinking, making character plots, editing, getting frustrated. You have to put in the time and the effort and eventually after all those hours of trying to be a writer, you'll discover that somewhere along the way, you became a writer. This site is here so that you don't get bored or discouraged, so that your time is well spent and pointed in the right direction.
The Two Main Things You Have To Know: Time and Effort
Before you begin this process of becoming a writer or an artist there's two things you should know first, more importantly, accept. These apply to you and almost everyone else in your shoes: in order to write a book or create a cohesive group of works, you must put in a significant amount of time and effort. This is the key, and yes, it's a simple key, but it is the truth. To become a writer, you have to write a lot, to be a good artist you have to create a lot of art. Yes, the first amounts of writing and art you create will be exciting, disappointing, ugly, boring- it will not be amazing.
Passion and Effort: Do you love writing? Do you love making art? Does it invigorate you? Passion and love for what you do is what will get you past obstacles, what will make you rise in the morning and put in effort. Effort is key. Masters and geniuses are not born overnight, this may be the American dream, or at least our twentieth century dream- but the reason why these plans aren't completely successful is because time is time and you need to spend a set amount of time writing and creating art. In the beginning, (and throughout to the end) it's about how much time is spent, not the quality or the quantity. There's no other way of putting in 20 hours of writing towards your experience without putting in 20 hours worth of writing.
If you don't love writing or creating, you will get bored, you will get discouraged and when obstacles get in your way, the passion and love for your subject won't hurdle you over them unless you cultivate it and know it is there. If your answer is "yes," you are passionate and willing to put in the effort needed to become an artist or writer then the next question is:
Time: Are you willing to spend 10,000 hours of focused, integrated time, (which is 20 hours a week for 10 years) writing and creating art so that one day you will be a master? What you can gain from advice, from masters and from books are good ways and exercises to put those 20 hours to work. But even if you get all the right answers and you start at higher level of knowledge, you still need to put in 20 hours a week of time spent applied in what you want to do, be it writing or arting.
If you can answer "yes" to committing to time spent writing or arting, you must also admit yourself to the beginning period, when your perfectionist inside you says "I know you are a beginner (or perhaps stuck) but I expect you to write something amazing, create a flawless piece of art in your first try." And then, after your first month your perfectionist flunks you, you get discouraged, thinking that writing is just not for you and you've defeated yourself with unrealistic expectations. Don't fall into this trap: in the beginning, allow yourself a lot of time spent, solely just writing, just creating, without focusing on product or quality.
Are you just not sure if you are willing to put in the time or if you love art or writing enough?
Then at least go for it! Let's see what you can find out!