If you are interested in writing, get out and live your life! Do a lot. See a lot. Keep your eyes and ears open. Pay attention to the different ways people speak. Read lots of different kinds of books. And then try writing in different voices and styles - don't be afraid to experiment.
Writing is work. It takes a lot of contemplation, concentration, and out-and-out sweat. People tend to romanticize it, that somehow your work appears by benefit of some mystical external force. In reality, to be a writer, you have to sit down and write. It's work, and often it's hard work.
What sort of person you grow into should not be achieved by default, and often that's exactly what happens to kids. I see literature as a method of guidance, information, and contemplation, and consider it the greatest compliment possible when a reader tells me that a book of mine really made him/her think.
There's no question that the next generation of terrorists, rather than going for small, little dramas, will go for the big one. They now understand that the way to get the world's attention is not strapping bombs to themselves in a pizza parlor, but to do something so horrific it gets you into the Guinness Book of World Records for terrorism.
I'm not a wide-eyed imperialist who wants to see Americans manning outposts all over the world. Not outposts to freedom in the cold war cliché, but islands of stability and seas of ethnic strife. That is not what anyone should feel comfortable seeing Americans doing.