I started playing chess in 2015. I found a true love of the game when I started by doing tactics and puzzles. I spend days trying to get my score higher. I worked so hard that I almost lost my mind!
I then began to play more games, mostly correspondence, then blitz. Today I play a mixture of games and puzzles, and I even play some over the board chess. The best chess preparation is one made of layers.
It is my intention to begin tournaments again in about a year. I will then pursue the NM title with the USCF. I have a long way to go, but I believe seeking the NM title first then any subsequent FIDE titles is in my best interest.
If you have a dream in chess, you must set out a plan to capture that dream like you are capturing the enemy king. You need to devise a strategy and use tactics, as getting the title is just a larger version of the game.