Unfortunately, it takes a lot to become a competent writer; not only education, time and hard work but also self-awareness, humility and honesty.
The British playwright, novelist and short story writer W. Somerset Maugham (pictured) was extraordinarily self-aware, humble and honest. No matter what kind of writing you do, you could learn some valuable lessons from reading Maugham’s literary memoir The Summing Up. If you would like a sample of the lessons it contains, read this brief article.
The Takeaway: If you are a serious writer and want to build your skills, I urge you to read the About.com article about W. Somerset Maugham. Read The Summing Up if you have time. And I suggest you occasionally read some of Maugham’s fiction – even just a short story will give you insights. (Sample. Sample.) Maugham’s style is humble, observant, thoughtful, sympathetic, straightforward, euphonious, clear and concise. Often marvelously concise.