Hey Nicole, thanks for the compliments again. I still need to answer your previous questions from a different story.
Oh I’m with you, I still consider myself an amateur. I have a hard time believing someone waiting to pay me to do it. I follow much better photographers than myself. But people keep telling me I’m hard on myself when it comes to my “success” with writing and photography. It’s hard to grasp since I’ve always considered myself a logical person.
Just yesterday I was talking to a Danish friend of mine and he was saying he spent 5 years on/off learning Japanese. He seemed very good at it from my point of you. It’s possible to achieve. The times he was “on”, he was focused and consistent. It payed off. Good luck with that!
I’ll give the tips on meta learning some thought. All I can say right now is that I never learn blindly. I research methods of learning different things and quality and quantify my progress. I set precise and hard but achievable goals. For the “bodybuilding for an ectomorph” skill, I spent about 16 hours of research on workouts, healthy foods and general biology.
For the paid photography gig, I had volunteered to take photos for an NGO my wife works for. They were sending her to rural Uganda, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to practice my skills there. I read many books and followed tutorials online. I did much better than I expected, and from then on, they only wanted to work with me.
Much like a lot of the other things I’ve having “success” with, getting published was an happy accident. I believe you read the story I read about this as well. After 5 days of writing, I received an email from Jordie Black from The Startup. They wanted to publish my latest story. It was this one: View story. It really didn’t become that popular, but it opened the gate for getting published many more times afterwards. Not all my stories get published. Some I really like don’t get published, and some I don’t like (I still publish them) get published. It feels a little random to me, but I’m sure they know what they are doing. For The Ascent, I just followed their application guidelines and they published one of my favourite story, which was never published by The Startup. It’s still not doing great haha: View story.