I'm still a rank newbie/wannabe with nothing but a handful of published articles and an unsold book proposal under my belt. Even so, I'm already hearing "I've always dreamed of writing" from everyone to whom I sheepishly admit what I'm doing. I can't imagine how often real writers like many of you must hear it. The people who tell me that never seem to actually do anything to reach their dreams, though.

It seems to me like the difference between a pipe dream and a realistic goal, no matter what the goal or where you start, is a workable plan and the willingness to work your tookus off to achieve it. I'm sure there's a lot more to it, though, and I would love to learn from your depth of experience. What do you think separates the writers from the wannabes?