Learn how to write by falling down and getting back up again. Learn how to write by reading—some of it will be brilliant—remember it, it savour it, save it on your favourite shelf and keep coming back to it. But don’t forget to also read some the dreck—successful or not, all authors are not created equal. Recognize what excites you as a reader, learn what YOU believe is good or poor writing and emulate the good stuff.
Learn for the sake of gaining knowledge and expertise, not to prove you can do the job (this goes beyond writing). Opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise are infinitely easier to find if you actually HAVE some knowledge and expertise. Some of the most brilliant writers/editors/journalists were self-taught.
This is NOT to be mistaken for advice to NOT seek professional training. Do both simultaneously. But don’t simply focus on getting the official seal. If the goal is to be outstanding in your field, pursue perfection and accept your limitations as you go.
That warrants repeating: ACCEPT your limitations. Accept everyone else’s too—it makes everything easier.
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
This is Part 3 of a multi-part blog post. If you missed Parts 1 & 2, back up and check them out! Come back on December 21st for Part 4.