5 Ways Writing Teaches Humility

Writing is a career for the humble. Or, as the case may be for some, writing as a career teaches humility. Here are a few of the reasons why this is true:

You will make mistakes

Mistakes are an inevitable part of writing. Whether it’s a minor plot hole in your published book or a typo in your latest tweet, mistakes remind us that nobody creates flawless art.

There is always more to learn

No matter how many books we write, our next work will be better. Improvement is a blessing and a goal, but it also keeps us from getting too smug about our current skills (at least in retrospect).

Someone will always disagree with you

That bad review will come. That upset tweet reply will come. That offended email will come. It’s only a matter of time. Writers can’t please everyone, nor should we try. At the same time, these responses can be a reality check to remind us that we’re not on top of the world yet.

The bulk of your work goes unnoticed

Perhaps the most humbling truth of all is that 90% of the work you do will never be seen, applauded, or even acknowledged most of the time. People don’t see the months and years of toil at a lonely desk. They only see the finished product, and even that gets taken for granted sometimes.

Rewards aren’t guaranteed

Even after all the work we put into our craft, writers aren’t guaranteed sales, income, recognition, or success in any measure. It’s out there, for sure, and we can take it if we’re good (and lucky) enough, but I have yet to meet a writer who chose that path out of a desire for financial or social success.

Keep your chin up, writer, and be proud of who you are and what you do. Just be ready for your own work to pull the pride-rug out from under you now and then. And remember, humility is a virtue, not a flaw. Embrace it.

In the meantime, have a great day!

7 thoughts on “5 Ways Writing Teaches Humility

  1. Nate, this post is so true in every way. Writing has definitely taught me to be humble!

    Nothing makes a person more humble than realizing they weren’t as great as they thought they were :p

    Great post!!!


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