There is no royal road to learning; no short cut to the acquirement of any art.
~ Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers
See, I always think I can get away with scampering across the bridge instead of hiking down the canyon and back up again. My crit partners are generally in the middle of that bridge with big grins on their faces as they toss me over the edge and make me climb. But then, that's what good crit partners are there for :) And hey, at least they stick around to cheer for me as I make my way to the top. No matter how long it takes me.
Just when I think I have it all figured out, just when I think I can take a short cut here or there, just when I think I've got this whole writing business in the bag, something new smacks me upside the head and teaches me otherwise ;-)
I learn more and more with every book. I pick up new "tricks of the trade" and figure out new strengths and weaknesses. I get better and better. But there will always be something new to learn. I might figure out how to do something better, faster. But there are some short cuts that will just never work. There are some processes that work for other people that will never work for me (and vice versa).
Perhaps that is the most important thing I've learned = There are no short cuts and no magic "rules". Just hard work, the love of what I do, and the satisfaction of a job well done....no matter how long it takes me :D
Do you agree with Mr. Trollope? What have you learned while you strive to acquire your art?