I can point to the exact day that I realized my love for writing. I know this because I still have the diary in which I scrawled "Dear Diary, I want to be a writer!" I'm not sure what it was about that one day that caused me to make that secret proclamation; quite likely I'd done well on some writing project in English class. At any rate, I eventually put aside any notions of becoming a geologist, an architect, a chef, or an interior designer (among other things).
The rambling process that took me from that day in seventh grade to being the Manager of the Writing Center is similar to my writing process. I started out as a UW Bothell (IAS) student and eventually started working as a consultant in the Writing Center; I left to get my MFA from Oregon State University, and became an occasional writer of fiction. Along the way, though there was a lot of deviation from whatever goals I'd started out with, lots of trial and error and more procrastination than anyone should put themselves through. There's been no formula, no linearity. What I have experienced—the thing that's helped me the most—has been collaboration. Working with others, bouncing my ideas off of them, getting feedback, suggestion, direction.
That's the part I enjoy the most about writing. The bloodletting, tears and mounting frustrations that come with writing are just so much more enjoyable when shared with others.