Almost every book ever written on the subject of writing contains the following advice: "If you want to be a writer, start writing every day." Now that may seem obvious, a less generic version of "Just Do It." And while everything in life may seem as simple as that, two things make it particularly applicable to writing.
The first is that anyone can be a writer. In fact, you don't even need to know how to write. You only need to know how to speak. A friend recently related to me the story of his father, an illiterate man who wrote technical manuals by dictating to his secretary. Only if you're mute and illiterate are you precluded from joining the ranks of writers worldwide.
So it's easy to be a writer? Well, yes and no. The other side of writing is its permanency. Most would-be writers fall short because of a fear of commitment. When you write something, you commit those words to the page (or computer). Yes, your words can be edited, erased, or deleted later, but there's a special terror that comes with putting your thoughts down in a semi-permanent fashion. Even for those that overcome this initial fear, there is a secondary fear of showing your writing to another person, and the tertiary fear of the finality of publication.
How many great stories are left untold because of the teller's fear of telling? I fear many. So if you have a story to tell, put pen to paper, hands to keyboard, chalk to cave wall, and write now. I'll be going with the "every day" thing, writing an entry in this blog every day for the rest of the year. To put my money where my hands are (on the keyboard), I'll give 2 books or 1 hour of coaching to the first person who calls me out should I fail to make a post on any day between December 18th and December 31st (EST).