To be a writer means you talk about your novel, your story, as if it were something which always already existed somewhere in the universe, as if you were an archaeologist unearthing an artifact from another world, carefully dusting off the earth away from its ancient surface. Its characters are already real people. You did not create them.
To be a writer means to always be alive. You are simply a conduit for everything going on around you. The events of the day, the strangers you encounter in your daily travels—these filter through you and emerge on the other side refined into what another might call art.