Get a blog. Everyone's got a blog. OK, so I now have a blog, too, although I'm not feeling any more "in" than I did before I started this.
What started me writing -- the short answer: I ran out of wall space for needlepoint and needed a creative outlet.
The longer answer:
Not all THAT many years ago, my son was visiting, and as he flipped through the channels, he stopped at "Highlander: The Series" and told me it was a cool show. Being a nice Mom, always looking for common ground, I watched it -- and when the star turned out to be drop-dead gorgeous, I kept watching.
From there, I discovered Internet groups (back then, it was almost all CompuServe) and had some fun discussing the 'what ifs' with others. That led me to FanFiction, which led me to Sandra McDonald, who got me started in beta reading.
One weekend while I was home alone, I decided to see if I could write a story that had been playing in my 'what if' world for a long time, and so I did. I sent it to Sandra, who gently pointed out just a few of its flaws. I had a new challenge, and I worked on it, and posted it on a fanfic site, and people said they liked it. Had I known then how easy it was to please those folks, I might not have felt so good. But, I kept writing, until one day I wondered if I could write my own characters instead of borrowing them from someone else.
I found another writing group, this one at iVillage, and they also were free with their praise. Nine months later, I finished a novel. Then I did what Sandra told me to do first -- I read Self Editing for Fiction Writers, by Browne & King. I cringed at my mistakes, but went back and rewrote.
By chance, I spoke with my son, and asked him a question about a Highlander episode. He said, "Oh, I've never WATCHED it, I just thought it was a cool concept."
So, here I am, still writing. I have two short stories published by Wild Rose Press, and a contract offer on that first book from Cerridwen Press.
Thanks, Jason -- I guess.