Debra Erfert, author
To me, Pride and Prejudice is one of the most romantic novels ever written. That one book made me want to write romance, even though my stories have more suspense in them than having a sister run off with a rouge.
I believe it's important to continually build skills, no matter what business you're working in. Teachers take classes to stay current. Firefighters are constantly training, honing their life-saving skills. Police go through training scenarios that can save their own lives. Writing isn't any different, (although it's much less stressful) when we take workshops or attending conferences meant to strengthen our story-telling skills. It's important to learn from the best whether you're a newbie writer or a seasoned author with may published books under your belt. I've gone to a big writer's conference every year, sometimes two, plus workshops, either online or on site. I have many friends and acquaintances who also attend. I also constantly read books in the genres I write, plus many in genres I don't. Reading puts joy in my heart.
This is what I'm doing! I'm working hard, and it makes me happy. I'm building a career one story at a time. Every time I have another book published, I feel excitement bubbling inside me, pushing, encouraging me to meet my next goal.