What looks like garbage from one angle might be art from another. Maybe it did take a crisis to get to know yourself; maybe you needed to get whacked hard by life before you understood what you wanted out of it.
Read a ton. Take a workshop course so you learn to give and get criticism.
There's that unwritten schism that literary writers get all the awards and commericals writers get all the success.
Even though I don't write about things that come from my life because I'm lucky, and I live in a great place with great kids and, you know, a great husband, I think you can find threads of me in the characters, so that's really what being a writer is, probably.
I started writing when I had three kids under the age of 4. I used to write every ten minutes I got to sit in front of a computer. Now, when I have more time, I function the same way: if it's writing time, I write.
My friends say I have two speeds: fast and blistering.