Every writer wants to be the best.
At the very least, we all have at least one stretch goal we’d love to reach at some point.
Maybe you want to publish a book. Maybe you want to guest post on your favorite blogger’s site. Maybe you just want to be able to make ends meet by writing, without suffering through a day job you can’t stand.
I have no doubt you’ve wondered, more than once, what exactly you need to do to get from where you are to where you want to be.
And you likely already know there’s a lot that needs to happen before the idea that descends upon you in the middle of your morning shower becomes a bestselling masterpiece. Like, you actually have to write the thing, and all that.
But you might not know many writers — especially those who earn success in their endeavors — have something you might not.
And the good news is, this “something” — a key to “making it,” if you will — can be learned.
I don’t think you’re born with this particular trait. Maybe some people are, at least, born with the ambitious tendency that likely makes the characteristic easier to develop.
The most successful writers out there are not masters of their craft — not in the way you think.
They’re all willing to admit they still have a lot to learn.
And they never stop learning.
Even though I’ve been blogging since 2009. and work in media as a writer, and give a lot of general writing tips and advice to anyone who wants the help, I never pretend to know everything there is to know about writing.
I’ve learned more about myself as a writer in the past year than I have in the last 10. And that’s because I don’t believe I’ll ever know it all. There will always be something new. There will always be someone more skilled than I am at something, who can, directly or indirectly, teach me.
I believe many writers’ success is due to their willingness to admit they’re still students of creativity, no matter how many words they’ve written in their lifetime.
I also believe the best way to learn to be better is to continue writing, no matter what. There will never come a point when you’ll stop writing because there’s nothing more a story can teach you.
Be willing to learn. Not just from people older than you, but those younger than you, too. Not just from writers, but from editors, filmmakers, designers, musicians, chefs. Every form of creativity has its lessons. Look for them. They will find you.
And if you apply them, you’ll continue to improve, year after year. That will ensure you never fall behind. That you’ll always have something to keep you going.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.