One thing I’ve noticed as a writer is that we’re constantly learning. Whether it’s through copious amounts of research, because we need a break from the act of writing, or because we need new skills to fuel our inspiration, writers are constantly learning.
This is especially true in the world of self-publishing. Not only must we be writers, but also salesmen, publicists, editors and frequently designers and artists. We juggle many hats and in doing so, learn different skills. While some things such as formatting and cover design can be bought, numerous writers seeking to lower cost teach themselves how to do these things.
There’s also the aspect of things we learn through the act of writing and reading. Part of this is of course, researching the sometimes strange and obscure facts we need for scenes, but also it comes as a habit of reading others’ work. This might be in the published books we read, or helping a friend spot troubled areas on their own manuscript. We’re silently absorbing the things we liked and learning new tricks to add to our style and written voice.
Each new thing we learn informs our writing, but it’s easy to forget that learning sometimes comes in the form of experience. This might mean taking up a class on painting, or going for a hike in a new area. It also sometimes means doing nothing more than sitting and listening to the people around you in your favorite cafe or bookstore. This way you can glean little bits of information and use it to help round out your characters.
Regardless of how or why you’re learning, it’s a constant habit for writers.