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It’s not what I’m learning—it’s that I’m learning at all

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A guy walks into his job and spends half the day reading or replying to the all-comers to-do list that is email, a quarter of the day in meetings, and the other quarter doing the same shit he’s been doing for years because no one wants to do anything different. Ring any bells?

It’s not that I didn’t learn a lot from every job I’ve had. To say otherwise would be a slap in the face to all the wonderful and competent people who taught me what (and who) they know over the years. And it’s not even that I stopped wanting to learn—I frequently went to conferences or watched tutorials to learn new tricks, even though no one was asking or expecting me to innovate.

But there comes a point where tricks are all you’re really learning. There also comes a point when you’re not learning because you care so much about the subject, but because what you really want is to become indispensable. You want to grow your value to the organization. That’s noble and understandable. But the thing is, it’s very likely that no one is paying any attention to your growth. It has to be intrinsic, and that’s a problem in the business world because it’s not like they pay you more just for knowing more.

That’s why this is so different. I’m coming in knowing very little about self-publishing, so I’m starting from scratch but also realizing that everything I learn is going to help ME be a better writer and self-promoter. The better I am at it, the more people will read my books. The more people who read my books, the closer I come to living my dream of being a full-time author. Now there’s something at stake for me. I have a skin in the game where I didn’t really before, and that’s both exciting and scary. Parts of my brain are activated for the first time in years, and I have to think that will make my writing even better.

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