Our life experiences and that of those around us are interwoven classrooms where the learning never ends and the diplomas aren’t handed out, until we check-out.

Even in this era of convenience, the instinct to survive exists at our core. We get from one day to the next by knowing what has or has not worked in the past. We learn from the life examples surrounding us. We take the lessons from success, failure, or near misses and use them to improve ourselves and ensure our continued survival.

Writing works pretty much the same way. No writer exists who cannot benefit from observing another. No matter our successes there is always room to improve. The biggest mistake a writer can make is to rest on their laurels and assume that because they have done well, there is nothing more they must learn.

Ego is one hell of a drug. It will have you riding so high and mighty that you may not even notice when you step off the ledge and start the free fall, because you are a writing genius and it feels so friggin good to be at the top. Mmm, feel that breeze….

The reality is, even if you are the best and most successful writer today, it is not the end. There are thousands scrambling up the rungs right behind you. They may have something going for them that you have LOST. The desire to learn.

Learning should never end, whether in life or as a writer. You may have learned all the writing rules, the genre tropes, your readers’ desires, and the secret formula for cranking out best sellers, but do not let your focus linger on yourself and these successes. Times and people change. And because of this you must never believe that you know everything.

Always be willing to stay open to new ideas and methods, otherwise you may risk becoming redundant, boring, and predictable. Keep the energy alive by experiencing the writing style of others – read. Take an online course. Attend a webinar. Watch YouTube’s videos by other writers.

There is always room to learn something new or something even better.  Writers should set aside time to improving their craft, their marketing skills, their research, or book covers, whatever. It is essential to stay up with the times and the mindset of new generations.

Do not let ego drag you down. Enrich yourself and your writing by being aware of the current trends and writing styles, etc. that are drawing the interest of readers. You do not need to make drastic changes or jump on a bandwagon, but you may find new things to incorporate into your work that will not only revive your stories, cover art, and marketing but spark something new within YOU as well.

Stay excited and keep learning, my friends!

Joan

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