Many of us start out simply having fun with photography, capturing precious family moments such as birthdays, weddings, holidays and even our pets. With modern cell phones putting a decent camera in everyone's pocket, there are even more opportunities to enjoy picture-making, no matter where you are.
Over time, some of us may notice that we're not quite as good as we'd hoped, and decide try to learn more about what makes for good photography. This might begin with trying to master the (usually limited) gear we have, although some will quickly jump on to the upgrade path, expecting a better camera and lens will reveal the inner artist. Sooner or later - no matter how much gear you buy - you will likely conclude that it's the way you're seeing things that matters the most. If you've ever seen someone quickly whip out their camera-phone, snap off a shot or two and - perhaps after adding some quick filters - post amazing, original shots to social media such as Instagram, you'll know what I mean: such people innately have a "good eye".
I am unspeakably envious of these "naturals", because for me it has taken a really long time to improve my photographs. However I take heart in the concept of Malcolm Gladwells' "10,000-Hour Rule", expounded in his 2008 book "Outliers: The Story of Success". Gladwell claims that the key to success in any field is the result of having practised for around 10,000 hours. He doesn't claim that it's a guarantee of success; more that it's a prerequisite. While his book has been criticised for cherry-picked facts and anecdotal evidence, the concept seems self-evident; 10,000 hours is a lot of time, and if you keep at something long enough, you might expect to get better at it!
I encourage you not to despair if you're not progressing as quickly as you might have hoped. Keep at it. Seek like-minded photographer's - on-line or off-line - for ideas on how to improve, or at the least for moral support. Most of all, don't get too bogged down with equipment and technique. Maintain a sense of whimsy, and remember to have fun with what you've got!