I have heard this advice about all three of these areas that I (and I know many others) struggle to do consistently. I think I have finally had a turning point. I'm just doing it.
I've been wanting to get back into running now for many years, but have made excuse after excuse. I have been inspired by so many runners, my brother is a triathlete and me starting to run again is a long time coming. Finally, I was inspired by my friend who is a marathon runner who was asked for some advice about starting to run. She simply said to "just do it." Anyone can make an excuse. Just get up and start running. I am happy to say with the encouragement of another friend who is training for a 5K I too have started my training to run that same 5K! The website http://www.coolrunning.com/ has an awesome training tool called Couch-to-5K running plan which lets the "couch potato" ease into running and not get discouraged which many beginners do because they try to do too much too fast. Anyway, so far so good.
Writing. I'm doing it right now. An author friend of mine who I asked for writing advice told me: Just start writing; write everyday. I don't know what I want the end result of writing to be for me, but it feels kind of like breathing to me. So, I write all the time and now I have started this blog and honestly don't care if anyone reads it. I just like to write and feel led to.
Now about praying... I think it was Mother Teresa who said something like, "don't think about praying, just pray" that may be totally misquoted, but you get the idea. A lot of people (including myself) think about praying, talk about praying, encourage other people to pray, but the important thing, the thing that will change a person's life, is to just pray. With the help of yet another awesome friend in my life I have committed to spend at least one hour a week at Adoration. Just sitting quietly with my Lord (except for the old woman who was sucking loudly on her cough drop earlier today!) and allowing Him to change me. "Make me more like You, O Lord!" It's not going to happen unless I spend time with Him, listen to Him. Prayer is simply a conversation with God. The mistake we often make when we try to pray is we come at God with an agenda, a list and we do all the talking. Another MT quote: "God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer." So, there you have it. Just listen. What God wants to say to us, particularly about His Love for us, is way more important than what we could ever say to God. He already knows what is on your heart. Just open it to Him. Sit quietly and I promise you, He will sort it all out.