As I considered the various topics I could discuss today, I at first thought I should write on something that would generate a post of notable length without being tedious. My goal for these posts, after all, it to be entertaining as well as informative. However, as I settled on today’s topic, I realized that, much like books, length is far less important than content. You could have told me that, right? I should have remembered a lesson like that.
Which brings me to part of the essence of today’s subject. Do you ever go back and reread old craft books? How often do you review notes on past writing classes or break open a book on plotting or characterization? Do you still seek advice on elements of writing via blog posts, other writers, or articles?
Once we get comfortable with an aspect of writing, it’s easy to assume we understand it. However, much like rereading Shakespeare, if you go back and reread an old craft book, you will see things in it you missed the first time. Part of this is because no human can hold all that information in their head all at once. Part is because we sometimes forget things. But also, after much practice and growth, we see things in a new perspective and can often attain greater depths of understanding. This is true with any subject, be it writing, scuba diving, or biology. Content is what’s important, and returning to good content to study it more can often reveal great insight.
So, while this post is on the short end, I hope you’ll focus on the main point: No matter how much experience and success we gain, we should always maintain the attitude of a student. And by that, yes, I mean a good student. Especially as writers, we should always be learning and always be open to what ohers and life can teach us about our craft.