The way to level up and improve your performance is to get advice from people who have demonstrated an expertise in the area. Very few people have the courage to do that. Instead, we turn to people who don’t know any more about writing a book than we do.

By listening to them, we’re choosing to follow the collective wisdom of idiots. We’re building our careers on a foundation of ignorance. That sounds unduly harsh, I know. But if we think about it, and if we understand that idiot and ignorant both refer to a lack of knowledge, we see that it’s true. They’re all well-meaning people who want the best for us, but they can’t help us because they’ve never done what we’re doing. So why do we ask them?

The alternative is to turn our writing groups into study groups. We can choose to learn together. Who are the people you admire in this business? Do they have books on writing? Do they blog or offer courses you can take? How can you learn from them?

Two of my mentors are Steven Pressfield and Tim Grahl. They both have new books out today; The Artist’s Journey and Running Down a Dream. I encourage you to get them. It’s an investment in your career. It’ll help you do the work.

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women