Recently, I was speaking to a small group of writers and one asked, “What would be one piece of advice we should follow for the rest of our writing careers?”
I said, “A. B. C. Always be curious.”
Another way to put this is, “Always be learning.” I’m a firm believer that writers need to always have a “back-to-school” mentality.
When you think you know it all, it will be the beginning of the end for you.
Here are six things we can gain from always going to “school”:
- Anticipation. The joyful feeling that something great is going to happen.
- Dread. The accompanying feeling that something awful is going to happen.
- Fun. Put the first two together, and you have an adventure. (If we change the words, we could have Anticipation-Angst-Adventure!)
- Renewal. Learning something new becomes a part of you. And you become different or renewed each time.
- Growth. Growth happens over time and through much work and perseverance. Ronie Kendig spent eight years from the time she first began pursuing publication to the date her first novel was released. That is perseverance.
- Reward. There is never a “graduation” ceremony from the school of writing. It is a lifetime experience. But the rewards are great because words can change lives.
If you can, if circumstances allow, I would encourage you to attend a writers conference some time in the next 12 months. It can be like going back to school–but in a fun way. (See #3.)