I never want to stop learning. Years ago, I bought a copy of The Iliad in ancient Greek, and I fully intend on reading it someday. I may be a hundred and ten, but I'll get there. Growing up all over the world gave me educational advantages most kids don't have. While I attended traditional schools, some of my best education came from outside the classroom. I think that's why I'm not wedded for life to traditional learning models.

When the architect daughter was in lower school, she wasn't showing her math work step by step.Teachers frown on this. I realized, after having a very rational discussion with her, that her mind didn't need those steps to solve math problems. She was bored by the tedious, lengthy process, since she knew the answers (and they were correct). The librarian daughter was a hands-on learner. If she could hold it, make it, see it, she had that for life. Step-by-step worked well for her.

Just as there is no one correct way to learn, since we are all uniquely individual, there's no one way to write a book, a short story, or a poem. We each need to find our own process, the one that fits our creative process. I've found some "how to write" books wonderfully helpful (i.e. Vogler's THE WRITER'S JOURNEY), and others are simply torture. I did a one-day seminar with a well known agent who has written a couple of "how-to" books, and they have simply and effectively crippled my writing process. I came out of the session feeling like a failure and paralyzed by not being able to create the way he said we writers should.

Horse feathers. Learning to put words down in tangible form is intrinsically tied to how we learn any other skill. It's your process, so you need to figure out what works for you. Are you a plotter, with detailed chapter outlines? Good for you! Or is half the fun figuring it out as you go along? Stick with it if it's giving you joy. Don't let anyone mess with your head.

It's the only way you'll get where you want to go.