Are you a writer?
First, are you SURE you want to be a writer? It's a tough business. Even in these wide-open days of self-publishing you need to write a good story and hope it strikes a chord with (many) readers.
If you want to go the traditional route, your fate is in other hands, accept it.
If you want to self-publish, you're going to have to become an excellent promoter and put money behind your dream.
So, if you're continuing to read this, you have an inner fire that needs to be released. Or maybe you just need to silence those imaginary voices whispering in your head.
One of the first things you can do to become a writer is DEFINE YOURSELF AS A WRITER. That is now your self-image. And as we all know, a character will fight to the death to keep his/her self image intact (and, of course, they have a new one by the end of the story, that's character arc).
I am a writer.
I am also a daughter, sister, owner (or owned by) cats, a dozen other things, but my basic core identity is as a writer. This is even more solid for me than others because I have no spouse or children to dilute this solidity of identification as a . . . profession.
I celebrate being a writer and creativity, I surround myself with people of the same ilk, and I absolutely look at the world through the filter of being a writer. I would not know who I was if you took this identity away from me.
And to be a writer, by definition, you have to write. So you will find me at my computer every day (or, occasionally, outside on the patio with pen and paper), writing. Writing snippets, writing plot points, writing ideas that will go nowhere or get revised out of existence.
Writing one of my 100K word novels – because you don't get to 50K or 100K or 135K words by not putting one after the other.
Back to defining yourself as a writer, talk the talk, walk the walk (write), and it will creep up on you. When you first start out, you might say, "I am a paralegal and I write on the side." Then, of course, you get all those comments – Are you published? Who published you? Where can I buy your books? Can I get them at the library? Are they on audio?
I wrote for 8-9 years before I got published traditionally, I know those questions as an unpublished writer and I know the answers. "I've finished my first book, and I'm writing my second." (Huge accomplishment, folks, finishing a first book!) "I'm looking for an agent." "I have an agent submitting my work." "I've finished three books and two are sitting on editors' desks." Find out a graceful way to answer those questions, but come out of the closet and accept your writing identity. Defining yourself as a writer will get you through the hard times of writing, will help you relate to other writers so you know you've come home to your tribe and they have embraced you (like being at the Colorado Gold Conference) and will simply keep you going when you want to quit.
Do you want to quit? If you can, do. There are many other creative ways to spend your time.
I am a writer. Are you?