I've had a story brewing in me for nearly fifteen years. It blossomed in the late '90s, and I've never been able to shake it. The people in the story have become friends and family, and I've decided to finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and get the story out of me. I don't have any intention at this time of trying to publish the story-- just to give it breath. At this point, it is serving as a catharsis, allowing me to finally purge myself of this story that has been building in me. Right now the story is just a skeleton, and I am really learning what it means to "flesh" something out.
But writing has gotten me interested in the "how" of writing. I have been slowly learning, and have seen firsthand just how difficult it is to write "well". I don't write well yet.
This article by Nathan Bransford about "How to Start Writing a Novel" links to two other good articles he wrote about finding your voice and developing a plot. Check it out!