As we all know, one of the best ways to reach our writing goals is to learn from other writers. But how should you go about choosing a role model? The most logical answer would be to look for someone who has reached the level of success you wish for yourself. I’ve discovered however that it’s much better to look for people who have achieved way more than I plan on. Why? Because it makes my own modest goals seem that much easier to attain.

I also realized that it’s better for my self-esteem. As I’m not in direct competition with these high achievers, I don’t feel intimidated by their success. And I figure that if I can learn the techniques they use and try to incorporate these in my own work, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t succeed—and at a much faster rate, too!

For instance, I’m part of a Facebook group of freelance writers who, for the most part, earn at least five times what I hope to earn in a month. Many of them are full-time freelancers who are published regularly in top magazines and newspapers. While I can’t possibly pull off everything they’re doing due to time constraints, I also don’t need to. If I can learn how to sell just one feature to these same markets on a monthly basis, I will have reached my income goal, leaving me free to pursue other writing projects.

The advantage of joining a group such as this is that not only do I get to observe, but I can ask questions as well. I’ll admit it can be a bit scary to rub elbows with the pros at times, but I choose not to let it get in my way. While I may not have much to contribute to the conversations, I enjoy cheering for my role models and celebrating their victories. And who knows? One day soon they may very well be the ones cheering my victories!

In the meantime, if you need a role model for growing giant zucchinis, I’m your gal! Here’s a hint: get busy writing and forget to check on your garden for a week or two. Works every time!