Here's how it goes: you write like mad. You write because you can't seem to stop yourself from writing and really, you have so much to say. People notice. Someone recommends you go to grad school. You start filling out applications, but picking literature apart doesn't hold the same value for you. You keep writing, writing for class and then writing what you need to write. You graduate and apply for an MFA.
Stuff happens and life feels hard for a while, but you keep writing through it and for once, what you're writing is the same as what you have to get done for class. You write your way through that MFA with a novel at the end. You submit it to an agent, get accepted, find gainful employment writing, and somewhere along the line, you stop writing in the same way. Writing becomes a forced thing, a job. You second guess yourself. You struggle. The agent comes back with edits, then more edits, so you edit. You stop writing. You forget how to create a new character. You forget how to write that first sentence on a blank page. Sometimes you write a poem and this makes you feel like maybe you aren't quite a fraud.
One year passes this way, then another six months. You edit old stories. You edit your novel once, twice, three times. You re-alphabetize your book collection. Then, you decide: enough. You submit to journals and accumulate rejections. You start a writing group. Then, one day, one of your stories gets accepted. You know that if one story can get an audience, another one can too. You stare at that blank page and you stare it down. You start writing. Six pages later, you look up. It's not the best thing and it's rough, but it's yours and it's new. You know now that you can start again.