How are you learning to be an author likely reflects how you learn new things in other parts of your life, as a novice then an expert. 


“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.”

Henry Ford


Where in your life are you an expert and where are you a novice?

Psychology research has revealed that experts and novices think differently and solve problems differently including the creative problems we solve as authors. Experts, for instance, spend more time with the early parts of problem solving while novices are more focused on the outcomes. Experts zoom in on the problem solving process itself and work forward from where they are, usually quite systematically. Novices tend to attempt to reverse engineer problems from where they “think” they need to end up.

Given these two different approaches to problem solving, to be as balanced as possible, I’m always working to expand my expertise in some areas while constantly starting over as a novice in other new areas. I find that simultaneously operating in both spaces teaches me lessons that cross over into each one.

Learning something brand new, in addition to challenging my brain in new ways and building new neural circuits, helps me appreciate areas where I’m more experienced (like ghostwriting and coaching authors). It reminds me to relax, trust myself, and enjoy the experience of knowing what I know and finding new and exciting ways to apply that knowledge, versus fretting about whether I have enough of it to be of value.

Can you relate?

Think about the areas of your life where you have developed expertise. Now think about all the times you’ve tricked yourself into imposter syndrome moments, questioning your expertise and what you know.

Imagine what would happen if you leaned into your expertise and learned to truly enjoy the experience of knowing stuff? What kind of fun and new discoveries might you unlock?

And in the other column, imagine what experiences await you in learning something brand new. For some of you, that might be how to write a book, essentially learning to be an author. In addition to learning your new skill(s), how can you go a little “meta,” and become an observer of how you’re learning what you’re learning? 

How can you put your process of being a novice under a microscope, learn how you learn, and apply the lessons and strategies to other new pursuits as well (and from those pursuits since learning goes both ways)?

I am actively translating the “meta” lessons about how I learn from the aerial arts to grad school, and finding many connections. The reason I am able to do this is because I invested the time in analyzing (and blogging about) how I operate as a beginning aerialist.

Once you learn how you learn, once you unlock the joys of being an expert and of being a novice, and start connecting dots between your discoveries, your growth and learning potential becomes unlimited. And that’s when life becomes really fun, as you seek out new learning experiences with the enthusiasm of a child exploring a new playground (also fun for adults by the way).

Learn on!

P.S. Learning to be an author and need a set of expert eyes on your manuscript to save you time, money, and energy in the editing process? Let’s chat about my Editorial Analysis service! 


Related Articles:

3 Lessons From Being Coached

Am I Really An Expert?

Author Coaching Or Go It Alone?


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