A lot of things are like physical exercising. Playing music requires practice, keeping a house clean requires diligence, learning a new skill requires lots of use and maintenance.
Writing is not any different.
I have always written. I loved the stories mom would read chapter books to my brother and I. We always wanted her to keep going and would beg her for more at the end of a reading. When I was 9, I even attempted my own mystery story, it was not my best work of art and I think I may have gotten rid of that old copy (but not before my mom proudly showed it to my teacher).
Since then, I would attempt stories of my own sporadically, though my imagination was running wild 24/7. In high school, I discovered several web comics that I absolutely loved and started making plans to possibly write my own. I had character notes and a general idea of the plot but I never really sat down and wrote it (though, my drawing abilities excelled during this time because I was not going to produce a web comic unless I was sure I could make its quality stand out).
It was during this time that the ideas for my trilogy of fantasy books started coming together.
Finally, in 2015 a couple friends and I started our own critique group and for the first time I was writing more rigorously and more often. I also participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time and I went from 16000 total words at the beginning to 180000 in the last two years on various drafts.
And you know what? With every single second I spend critiquing, writing, and learning from writing masters, I can see my work become better.
I have a philosophy in life that we never really arrive. Life is a journey and it’s also like a balance beam. We are constantly improving and we are constantly having to adjust for our balance. Like our core muscles, the more we consciously work at this balancing act, the less we notice the individual muscles, with every experience we’re strengthened so that the next time, we’re not as sore.
By practicing the basics, we become ready for what comes next.
Just like life, writing is an exercise, grow lax and it takes longer to get back into shape.