on Helping Writers Become Authors:
Writers are students. Sometimes this is the result of nothing more than sheer necessity: we seek answers for our questions because writing is proposes difficult problems. But often, writers are students first and writers second. If this is you, then concentrating on how to grow as a writer isn’t justabout improving your writing; it’s part of a personal manifestation of learning and growth.
I fear nothing more than stagnation. Every moment standing still is a moment I’ve wasted by not learning something about this deliciously mad world of ours. (This isn’t to say we can’t learn—a lot—by the physical act of standing still, but if you’re learning, are you really standing still, hmm?) I feel this challenge as a person, and I feel this challenge as a writer. I’ve always said, tongue in cheek, that the moment in which I know everything about being a writer will be the moment I flat-out quit.
But even if you’ve yet to reach the lofty pinnacle of Mt. Know-It-All, it’s still scarily easy to get stuck along the way. Just because you’re writing—just because you’re moving around enough to kick up some dust—isn’t necessarily a sure sign you’re progressing.
Today, let’s take a quick gut-check to make sure you’ve still got your compass aligned to true North in a journey designed to teach you how to grow as a writer.