To improve as a writer takes many things. It takes humility to know your limitations. And once you know those limitations, it takes courage and motivation to move to the next step of self-improvement. It also takes time. This is the most important because you can never have enough time to improve your craft. It is an ongoing every-day journey that we undertake to become better at what we love.
There are days when I feel like I don’t want to continue that “journey”. But I do. And I didn’t just suddenly come up with that fundamental trait. I learned how to push myself when I didn’t want to. I am still learning how to do that, and I accept I will always have to continue working on this, most likely for the rest of my writing days.
That’s an enormous thing. If you let that sit for a minute and think about it.
We will be students of writing forever.
And the reason for that is that without a solid writing habit in place, you will never get to where you want to go. First, you must get to where you need to go before you can get to where you want to go. Want and need two very different things.
That’s why I don’t like the word “guru”. I’ve used it once or twice in my articles, but when I think deeply about what that word means, I cringe. In some Eastern philosophies, you can never truly become the “master” of something because you are forever learning. This is how I look at the art of writing or any creative pursuit.
One thing I know is I don’t want my articles to be the “do this go there and you will be successful” drivel I’ve read all over the internet. If you remove all the hoopla and look at writing for what it really is, it’s just like anything else. If you want to experience some measure of success as a writer, you must put in the effort to become better at it and you need to accept that this will be an ongoing, life-time pursuit.
Fly-by nighters happen, but they are a dime a dozen. Wouldn’t you rather become the writer that writes every single day for someone other than yourself? Don’t you want your words to resonate with others who understand your struggle? Getting paid to write is only one tiny aspect of what being a writer is. Put in the work, be willing to build a daily habit that you stick to, and work towards improving yourself every single day.
So what’s on your schedule for today?