#1 Writing Rule: Be Teachable

We writers area equal parts ego and vulnerable.  The cliché is to develop a “tough skin” over the years and be able to take criticism.  But we all think we’re geniuses, and we are. Brilliant beasts who are magical at hiding our softest parts behind a shield of “I already know” and “You just don’t understand the work.”

Writer with Paper Head“Humble yourself, Oscar,” often goes through my mind.  One thing I’ve learned over the years of writing and revision and rejection and submission and rejection again and writing again and revision again is this:  Be teachable.

“The ultimate aim of the ego is not to see something, but to be something,” By Muhammad Iqbal – Pakistani Poet

I say that and I also offer writers advice which will sound like a schism (and it is), but we need to retain our ego.  We need to always remember we are undiscovered geniuses.  We are the next brilliant thing to hit the writing world.  We have the ability to transform this planet into something more habitable.  And ultimately that’s why we sit here everyday and write.  To end oppression.  To open up people’s minds.  To give readers a new way to look at life.  Our genius is geared toward benevolence.  Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves, and I suggest we continue to do so.

But at the same time we must be teachable.  We must be able to take advice from other writers.  It’s the difference between wrestling against your ego and mastering it.  When you are in control, you understand talent and skill must be executed with discipline.

And the only way for a writer to obtain discipline is by listening to others.

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(The above image was borrowed from Flickr)

22 responses to “#1 Writing Rule: Be Teachable”

  1. I don’t have room on my walls (I use them as art storage lol) but I’ll definitely put it in my planner.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have that quote hanging on my wall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t have room on my walls (I use them as art storage lol) but I’ll definitely put it in my planner.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret,”  By Jim Rohn.

    LOVE THIS!

    Like

    1. I have that quote hanging on my wall.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t have room on my walls (I use them as art storage lol) but I’ll definitely put it in my planner.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Anand. I hope you stop by again.

    Like

  5. Interesting thoughts on writing. Anand Bose from Kerala

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anand. I hope you stop by again.

      Like

  6. Game on! You actually gave me a reason to post again sooner rather than later 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad you liked it. Advice can go a long way. I appreciate the visit. I’ll stop by your blog again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Game on! You actually gave me a reason to post again sooner rather than later 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post! I’m notoriously bad at receiving other people’s advice, but mainly if it’s uninvited. Different story if I actually seek the advice… then I’m all ears.
    PS. Thank for stopping by ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you liked it. Advice can go a long way. I appreciate the visit. I’ll stop by your blog again soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Game on! You actually gave me a reason to post again sooner rather than later 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You are welcome. I am glad I did as well. For sure, I will 😊🌺

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the great reminder to be humble and teachable. The minute I think my writing can’t improve, it has descended into mediocrity.

    Like

  11. Thank you Deb. I’m glad you found it interesting. Please stop by anytime.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I really think this is great advice. Thank you for your writings. I really enjoy your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Deb. I’m glad you found it interesting. Please stop by anytime.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for stopping by. It’s notoriously unabashed. I appreciate the sentiment.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post! Thank-you for sharing something that is so helpful and true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by. It’s notoriously unabashed. I appreciate the sentiment.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Kindly delete that comment. So sorry. And this one too. On wrong site.

    Like

  16. Thank you, trq. It is through humility we obtain growth as writers.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Being teachable, taking advice… Couldn’t agree more! It was from people’s criticism and advice that I learned about how to write. And I’m forever learning…! Great post. Thank you for liking a post on my blog too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, trq. It is through humility we obtain growth as writers.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you. It can be hard. I also think there’s a certain unspoken talent for giving criticism in a way where the recipient will be receptive. I’ve known a few people who had the talent. I always admired them for it.

    Like

  19. Such wonderful advice! I know taking criticism…even done delicately can be hard to swallow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It can be hard. I also think there’s a certain unspoken talent for giving criticism in a way where the recipient will be receptive. I’ve known a few people who had the talent. I always admired them for it.

      Like

  20. Thank you Angelica. I’m glad you stopped by my blog. Stop by anytime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome. I am glad I did as well. For sure, I will 😊🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Good morning, I totally agree with you. As writers, There is always an open door to learn and advance to another level, once we allow ourselves to accept others’ advices. I would like to thank you for liking my blog post “Coffee Break Pearl ☕😌” It meant so much to me. Have a lovely day. 🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Angelica. I’m glad you stopped by my blog. Stop by anytime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome. I am glad I did as well. For sure, I will 😊🌺

        Liked by 1 person

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