At one of the first science fiction conventions I ever went to, I saw a guy wearing a sandwich board promoting his book. Count me out of that one.
I like to write stories that read like historical fiction about great, world-changing events through the lens of a flawed protagonist.
I never believed I could write anything. No way - write a whole story? Figuring out all that plotting and symbolism? How do you foreshadow things?
I would love to have written Roger Zelazny's first five books of 'Amber.' What a great idea he had about the shadings of reality!
Read. Read. Read. Read many genres. Read good writing. Read bad writing and figure out the difference. Learn the craft of writing.
My college roommate gave me her copy of 'Lord of the Rings,' and I read that probably five or six times - not because I think it's the greatest thing ever written, though some people certainly think it is - but the world he creates is so vivid. So real that he designed its own languages, history and mythology.
I'm a fairly ordinary person - a lifelong reader, a former software engineer, and former math teacher. I come from a wonderful family of teachers, musicians, librarians, and engineers. I think I surprised them as well as my friends and coworkers when I took up writing as a hobby and let it take over my life!
I enjoy worldbuilding very much. I generally start with an approximation. With 'Flesh and Spirit' and 'Breath and Bone,' because I was thinking of a world on the brink of a dark age, I began with the sense of Roman Britain. But I purposely set the geography to match something other than Britain - which has been overdone.