Imagine if you will a rather odd conversation; one wherein you start discussing the 2012 Olympic 100m final and the person you are talking comments that they could be as fast as Usain Bolt if they only had the time to train. Or perhaps you are discussing the modern physics and your companion states that they could probably have made some great breakthrough but they've just never gotten round to it.
You would probably regard such sentiments as 'naive' at best; after all we know there is something more to such achievements than simply a matter of taking the time to 'give it ago'. Now given that this blog is about writing I suspect you've guessed where this is going; the world appears full of otherwise sensible people who would never suggest they could be the next Bolt or Einstein and yet seem to harbour the belief that they could be JK Rowling if they just had the time. Why do some people seem to be so blase about the art of writing? Once again I have a theory.
In my opinion it all starts with the simple fact that most people can write; that is they know how to carry out the mechanical process of putting words on paper. They learned at school; they've done homework, essays, e-mails, Facebook updates, and writing a book is just that but more so right?
This contributes to writing being seen as a mundane thing where other arts retain a certain mystery; it may also partly be because sight tends to be the dominant sense and other art forms are more visual so we can appreciate the complexities better than with the visually dull collection of words on a page or screen that makes up a story.
Perhaps though its less that people are blasé about writing and more that it's superficial simplicity lends itself to daydreams of artistic ability thwarted by the demands of every day life; at least thinking that might make it easier to resist throttling the next person who says 'oh I've thought about writing...' :)