I had been drawing comics since grade school for fun. My first were usually Tom and Jerry types featuring different animals. I had a cat/dog, peacock/dog, and cobra/chameleon, that I remember. I was a weird kid. I usually drew during downtime at school and while I acted shy, I secretly loved the attention I got from students and adults alike who caught me working. I had read a lot of Garfield and Calvin & Hobbes. I was really good with stylizing anthropomorphic critters, probably as a result of emulating the poses from these comics.
In high school, I had a friend who got me into anime and as a result, I finally started drawing human characters. Like so many, I wasn't very good (though I, like everyone else without foundation, thought I was awesome). I'm pretty sure I mainly drew [bad] fanart (probably a lot of Dragonball Z and Ranma).
I can't remember precisely when my shameful Mary Sue showed up but I want to say it was during my freshman year of college, likely as a result of hanging out on fanfiction.net reading Harry Potter smut. It was also when I started drawing original characters again and tossing around writing something. I would occasionally draw "scenes" for what was, at the time, a sort of Harry Potter fanfic of my own that took place during the days of the Marauders. Nothing significant ever came of it, aside from a bit more practice and the acquisition of Photoshop. It did see a brief period as a potential "novel" but as Lavenderbard said, I decided my story was perhaps a bit "too hokey for words."
The spring semester of my freshman year, I started dating someone who produced a webcomic. I toyed at the thought of writing my crappy Mary Sue comic but I lost interest in any attempts I made, though by then, it was an original story without Harry Potter elements. I also had a few ideas for other stories beginning to take shape.
A year or so later, my then-boyfriend (webcomic guy) wanted to write a romantic interest for his main character and he wanted to use a character I had created for a pencil/paper RPG; this was meant only as an endearing gesture. I felt threatened by this but told him to go for it. I ended up publishing my own version of my character in a webcomic and that lasted for a threeish months of content, I think. The plan was that I would do a cross-over featuring his character. He asked me not to do it at the last minute, stating that he didn't like the idea of people coming to my poorly-presented site first and being put off his character (I'm completely paraphrasing a memory from eight years ago here).
Anyway, I'm pretty sure we each thought the other's art was secretly terrible. Looking back, I had plenty of improvements that needed to be made. Despite the negative first experience, it did allow me to see that I could do something with the medium.
A yearish later, I commissioned someone (from here, actually) to build a site for me (the first one was just a stock template from 1and1 that users with no coding experience could easily manipulate into something that was "good enough"). I had designed the new site and it was incredibly ugly (obviously not the coder's fault). She did what I asked, probably afraid to tell me how hideous it was, not that I would have heeded any advice she might have tried to give me. I moved a few things around and tried a couple launches but quickly lost interest. I continued to develop ideas without acting on anything.
At some point after meeting my now-husband, he offered to code a new site for me so that he could practice various skills that would help his résumé. I designed what is now my current site and he put it up for me.
He built a kickass publisher for me and I learned how to do a fair amount of coding in whatever languages he happened to be working in at the time. The site has seen several changes in how it's coded and we're working on yet another upgrade (I enjoy tampering with the code but this one will see a site-wide UI similar to what I originally had with 1and1, albeit customized for what I do). I finally launched a comic series (little bit of a break at the moment but launched nonetheless) that includes the character that my ex used in college-- the way I wished her to be. It still has an anime look (none of the little -isms manga writers use) that I have actively tried to move past. It's not my best writing but I keep pushing myself to finish it just because I've given up on it so many times already and I feel it will be good for me to get the practice.
I'm finally working on my "big story"-- what was originally a Harry Potter fanfic-- and I can't wait to start committing to its actual production. The Mary Sue is long gone (she still looks like a cute version of me), having developed into a sort of flawed antiheroine. More Abigail Williams. It also features a style that isn't influenced by anime and hopefully, "better-integrated" palettes that aren't so dangerous to the retinas.
Original hack coloring: http://tygry.deviantart.com/art/Tyger-Tyger-51346102
Older coloring (still used in my third/current webcomic): http://ladytygrycomics.com/Pages/Xeno/Football.aspx
Current capabilities the first time I started coloring BGs first: http://ladytygrycomics.com/Pages/Xeno/DetailSketch.aspx
Current, preferred style: http://tygry.deviantart.com/art/Elect-Reprobate-Model-Sheets-Kroenen-480528480
I've accepted that I'm not as good as I once thought I was (seeing younger people with infinitely more talent can be quite humbling) but I like to think I'm still pretty good and that I'll continue to improve. I've got a better eye for color and a stronger command of Photoshop if nothing else. Now I just need to keep at it.
tl;dr (I don't blame you): Probably for all the wrong reasons but I enjoy it, most of the time.
I should see if they ever allowed us to edit our own signatures again. My current site is in the second and third links above.