I’ve been telling stories since before I knew how to write. I taught myself how to type when I was five just so I could write out my stories. Writing is in my blood, and it probably is for a lot of you.
Then you’ve probably also been told many times throughout your life that you’re a good writer. It becomes a title almost synonymous with your name. Teachers, peers, relatives told me all through growing up that I was a good writer. Which at the time was great. It encouraged me to write more, to push myself further.
And then somehow, it just stopped. I plateaued. I reached a point, around high school, where I was a really good writer. I’d written books, had my own style and voice, had a system.
I was good. And that was enough.
I stayed that way for years. It wasn’t until I finally ventured into the writing community that I got a rude awakening. Suddenly, I wasn’t the only good writer in the room, I was surrounded by them.
At first, I was intimidated, insecure, disheartened. What now? Surely I had no hope against countless other writers just as good as I was.
It took me a while to learn and truly understand the answer, but I’m so glad I did. Over time, I stopped seeing the community as competition and started seeing it as just that–a community. A support group, a panel of advisors, a limitless encyclopedia, a family.
I learned more in a few months with the writing community than I learned in an entire lifetime of writing on my own. Good wasn’t good enough anymore. So I had to be better.
Writers are a bit infamous for how hard we are on ourselves. But honestly, I think that’s what changes us from good to great. If you don’t ever think you’re good enough, you will constantly be working towards better.
If you want to be a successful writer, never stop learning. Have your writing critiqued as much as you can. Learn from those wiser and more experienced than you. Read. Write. Read again. Write more. Push yourself as much and as far as you can. Humble yourself. Learn. Grow.
Don’t ever be okay with being a good writer. Because good isn’t good enough.