“Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.”
― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
I am one of those people who never stop being a student. I am constantly buying books about writing, reading blogs about writing, watching TED Talks, doing courses or attending conferences … about writing. Is it obsession? I don’t think so. Self improvement is a basic trait for humanity. Talent can only get you so far. Even Olympians need to train.
I’ve bought into the concept you need to work 10,000 hours at something to be an expert in anything. And the theory that you need to write at least a million words before you find your own ‘voice’. I have my moments of doubt, when I wonder that I am talentless and all this education and practice and persistence means nothing because I just don’t have that mystical spark that makes a ‘real’ writer.However, I also know that every person on the planet has these moments of angst, and I go on writing until the doubt dies down. I’ve past the million word mark about four million words ago…
Education gives you a structure to hang your flimsy scarves of fancy upon. I’ve learnt that much.