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Write!

“Start early and work hard. A writer’s apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he’s almost ready to begin. That takes a while.” – David Eddings 

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he talks about the 10,000 hour rule. It states that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours. This does not mean you have to write for 10,000 hours before you can create a book worth publishing, but with every word you write, your experience and skill increase.

If you’re nowhere near the 10,000 hour mark and the book you’ve written isn’t getting the praise you expect, perhaps you should re-examine your ability to write. Every one of us can always improve. I recently looked at a novel I wrote ten years ago (which I thought was amazing at the time) with shock at the rookie mistakes, awful pacing, incredible wordiness, and countless clichés. That book is due for a complete rewrite.

Remember a five years ago when you thought you knew it all, and now looking back you realize just how much you’ve learned since then, how much wiser you’ve become? Do you think you’ll be thinking any differently about who you are now in another five years? True humility is not the downplaying of our skills, but the realization that we still have much to learn no matter what our skill level may be. True wisdom comes from learning this fact. You don’t know it all, not about writing, relationships, business, or life. You never will. But you will learn more. You’ll always learn more.

Write to improve your skill, write to learn how to write, write because you love to write. You’re a young adult writer. You want to produce amazing YA novels. Finish your novel, and as you start to shop it around, put it up online, or whatever you choose, write some more! It’s who we are. Embrace that. Write!