The Zen Habits blog listed ten questions that can help you take action. In this series of posts I suggest how to apply nine of those specifically to writing more. You can easily adapt them to drawing or whatever other creative activity you'd like to increase.
5. Does the pain of not doing it outweigh the fear of doing it?
This question gets to the heart of the issue: usually it's not really lack of time or any external obstacle that stops you from doing what you care about.
WHAT ARE WE SCARED OF?
There are lots of fears, actually, but the biggest one is fear of failure. What if you try to write a novel and you fail? You have your choice of several failures to contemplate: what if your idea is no good, what if you run out of steam halfway through, what if you finish it but nobody wants to publish it, what if it gets published but gets humiliating reviews? What if people will think you're silly even to try?
The pain of not doing what you'd love to do is more subtle.
STAB OR ACHE?
Whereas fears are like stabs, the pain of not doing is an ache. But it's an ache that can go very deep, that can settle into your bones. I've met a few people like that. It made them bitter. They looked for excuses--they didn't have a good enough education, or the publishing world was stacked against them, or you had to be part of the Hollywood in-group. I have a feeling the nights they woke up at 4am they knew they had defeated themselves.
If you want to go for it but the fear is stronger than the pain you can address either side of the equation.
OPTION 1: INCREASE THE PAIN
You can increase the pain. Think about what you're giving up. Think about how long you've made excuses. Think about how you feel when you look at the things you intend to do "soon" and realize it's the same list you had last year and the year before and the year before.
OPTION 2: DECREASE THE FEAR
My preferred solution is to decrease the fear. Not by assuming failure is impossible but by looking realistically at the consequences of failing.
If you fail, will you die?
Will you go hungry?
Will a mob congregate outside your housewith pitchforks?
Will it make the six o'clock news?
Frankly, hardly anybody will notice. And who says not getting the result you want is failure? How often have you looked back at things that seemed like failures or catastrophes at the time and realized they weren't, or at least not totally. If you learn how to write a good screenplay by first writing a couple of bad ones, are those failures?
I believe if you you look at the fear of failure realistically you can knock it out in the first round.