The only redeeming feature of humans is their brains. If you choose to stop learning, improving and developing yourself, there's not much difference between you and dinosaurs who have already gone extinct. You're going to be next.
All content creators seek constant improvement for not only their audience but for themselves as well. I like to think of writing as a soul-seeking journey more than a lecture for my readers. It's more sharing than teaching even if it sometimes doesn't feel like it. I told the people on my discord server that the magic they like in my works comes from an orchestrated suicide so that I can tear myself up and show you what goes on inside me.
Was it worth it? Probably not. However, I never regretted becoming vulnerable in my work. If anything, it was necessary to grow. So what exactly does a healthy writer growth mentality mean?
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Firstly, I will break down what a growth mentality looks like from my eyes.
Accepting that your works will always be flawed and looking for ways to improve them
Receiving constructive feedback and accepting that you have parts to work on
Understanding which area you need to work on and making goals to achieve them
Feeling proud of milestones but never describing your work as perfect
Constantly hungry to read more than write, listen more than talk
Those are the signs of a growth mentality in my eyes. It could apply to anything in life actually. If you want a breakdown from a professional, check this out.
#1: Make a List
All the insecurities you have? Write them down.
All the things you hate about what you do? Write them down.
All the things you wish you could do and admire? Write them down.
After which you compare the things on those lists and start ranking them from the things you think bother you the most and things that bother you the least. If possible, create a ranking for things you think would be easy to incorporate into your next work and things that would be the hardest.
#2: Choose Your Battles
Now that the list is ready, let's take a look at your project. You probably realised by now just how fucked up you are. That's alright. We're all fucked up from one perspective or another. It's more important to know what to keep and what to fix.
The same rule for overcoming procrastinating applies here as well. Do not pick challenges that are impossible to win. You'd be defeated in an instant. Pick on things that are the easiest to overcome. The merits will slowly add up over time. When you've fixed something you want to improve on, you become stronger. Eventually, the thing that seemed so daunting at the start is suddenly just an ant you can squish under your foot.
#3: Track Your Progress
This part is important. Most people forget to do this when they embark on a self-improvement journey. Creating a timeline and a target helps you to know if you're on the right path or if you've deviated. It's not the sprint or the push that matters in a long-term battle. It's the efforts and consistency that pay off.
One trick I learn about goal setting and making continuous progress is to make the target impossible. I set at least two kinds of targets with different degrees of importance and give them points for achieving them. You can see it from my blog where I constantly write about goals at the start of every year and review them when December comes about. Most times, I don't manage to complete everything on that list. However, there will never be a year that I did not check anything from that lengthy list off. That's actual progress.
Not everything can be completed within a year, sometimes you just need to accept that. besides, I'm absolutely terrible at estimation. I'd give myself 5 years plus or minus for a lot of things I state on my overly ambitious list.
#4: Share and Review
No country is the work of a single man. Finding the right support group is extremely important. If you surround yourself with people who are also constantly growing, you'd be inspired to also work hard at what you set for yourself.
If you're someone who hasn't gotten that support group or system going yet, I suggest that you clear your social media and start replacing the regular content you watch with the things you want to be eventually. Start following hashtags about writing tips and start uploading your word count on a social media account daily if that helps. Showing excerpts of what you do for the world can gain you some small blessings because believe it or not, people do randomly drop by to leave helpful comments. I know because I have been on the receiving end of those.
Change is a scary thing for everyone, not gonna lie. However, not all changes are bad. Most are only scary because they are unfamiliar. If you can logically accept these changes and adapt to them a little at a time, in my eyes you're already doing a good job growing. Don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes, all you need is a little hand from someone else so find yourself a community for that. Alternatively, my discord server is open for everyone willing to work for better things in life.