Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Feeling Stronger Every Day

You've done it.  You've finished that manuscript, you've gotten published, you've won an award or two for your writing.  You've done signings, interviews, started a blog and a website, and had your picture in the local newspaper.  You've been invited to speak with writer's groups and at local conferences.  You've found success as an author, and because of that fact there's nothing else anyone can tell you about the literary world that you don't already know.  You're an expert.  All you have to do is sit back, write, and reap the benefits.  Right?

I say "wrong!"  It's my personal opinion that the absolute worst thing a writer can do is start thinking that his success means there is nothing else he can learn.  Let me ask you this:  How would you feel if your doctor stopped keeping up on the latest medical techniques and advances simply because he'd earned his degree?  Would you feel like you were getting the best possible care from him?  Of course, you wouldn't!  Why, then, as a writer, would you ever feel like you were providing the best material to your readers if you failed to continue learning ways to improve upon your craft?

There are so many resources available to us as writers that can help us be even better at the art than we are.  Writer's conferences provide an excellent way to network with other authors and learn from those who have forged the path ahead of you.  I may hear the same presentation a dozen times, but I never fail to learn at least one new tidbit that I can use in my writing.  Another great resource are what I call the "self-help" books.  Browse your local book store or online retailer and you will find a book to guide you through any literary subject imaginable.  I have several and use them often!  Join a writer's group, start an interactive blog, engage in social networking.  Do what you like, but whatever you do, don't stop learning.  You'll be surprised at how much more successful you can be.  Do you have other ideas on this subject?  Let me know in the comments.  Happy writing!

*Photo courtesy of Google Images

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