Saturday, May 30, 2020

Successful Writers Never Stop Learning

By Andrea Merrell

When asked if she’d been to a writers’ conference lately, the answer was quite a surprise. “I don’t go to conferences anymore. They’re all the same. Besides, I’ve already learned all I need to know.”

The truth is we’ll never get to a place where we’ve learned everything we need to know. This is true, not only in life, but in our writing. Writing and publishing is an ever-evolving industry. Changes come quickly. As soon as we think we have a handle on the “rules,” they change. Again. Taking shortcuts and avoiding the training we need can derail our efforts.

Pastor and author Bob Gass says:

By taking shortcuts, you risk shortchanging your future. Your unwillingness to learn today will leave you unprepared for tomorrow’s opportunities. No skill you learn will ever be lost. Gleaning knowledge and learning new skills builds confidence and sharpens your mind. Successful people have one thing in common: they never quit learning.

Even the Bible tell us to study in order to show ourselves approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15). We’re also told in Ecclesiastes 9:10, Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going (NKJV).

When God places a calling on our life, He expects us to learn, grow, prepare ourselves continually, and put our best foot forward. If we don’t know the next step, He tells us to ask for godly wisdom (James 1:5).

How important is it for us to remain teachable? To keep learning and growing? Meditate on these words in Proverbs 2:2-10 (NLT):

Tune your ears to wisdom,
 and concentrate on understanding.
Cry out for insight,
 and ask for understanding.
Search for them as you would for silver;
 seek them like hidden treasures.
Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
For the Lord grants wisdom!
 From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.
Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.

There are many webinars and online courses available. Read books on your craft. Read books in your genre. Attend a local workshop. Join a critique group. Try to attend at least one conference per year if possible.

Every successful writer I know makes it a priority to keep learning.

What about you?

(Photos courtesy of, jscreationzs, and ankris.)



  1. I truly enjoy attending writing conferences. I have made great friendships, learned valuable information about writing and much more. :-)

    1. I know what you mean, Melissa. Conferences are great. Blessings! :)