So what separates the men from the boys (or the girls from the women) so to speak?
Compare two young women who want to be writers. Let’s call them Jean and Joan. Both set a goal of becoming a writer. Jean thinks about it all the time. She talks about it to everyone who will listen. Once in a while she writes an article or a story and mails it off to a magazine.
Then she waits.
If the story is rejected, Jean puts aside her dream for a while. She nurses her wounds for at least two weeks before she tries to write anything else.
Jean also tried blogging. She has put up 8 or 10 posts, but when she didn’t get an instant following, she decided blogging was not for her. She abandoned her blog and ran off to try something different.
Joan, on the other hand, writes daily. She blogs; she writes e-books, she queries magazines and writes guest posts for other blogs. When someone criticizes something she has written, she carefully considers whether the criticism has merit.
Whatever else she does, Joan always keeps writing. Which is why she is evolving as a skilled, professional writer.
Daily writing practice can be compared to adding drops of water to a glass. If each time you sit down to write, a drop goes into a glass, sooner or later the glass will be full.
But if you’re only adding a drop sporadically, it’s going to take forever.
Write daily. Write something…write anything.
Practice and perseverance are the two most important qualities of a dedicated, evolving writer.
Following closely behind these two qualities is teachability. You have to be willing to learn from your mistakes. And you will make mistakes. There is not a writer on the planet who hasn’t written garbage from time to time. Listen to your critics. They may or may not be right. But either way, they probably have something to teach you.
The more you keep writing, the more you will evolve as a writer.