Some writers believe that the be-all/end-all is publication. Once they're published, they no longer have to continue to learn technique, worry about grammar and punctuation, or challenge themselves to write outside their comfort zone. After all, they've been published. That means they know what they're doing, right?
As any true writing professional will tell you, the publishing business is always changing. Think back to five years ago. What were you reading? And how were you reading it? How many publishers have come or gone in the meantime? Audiences change, their tastes change, and their methods of reading change. One thing, however, remains constant: the need for something new and different is bottomless. Ask any reader about an author they used to love but now can't abide. Chances are, you'll hear the complaint that it seems like said author is "phoning it in." Meaning, the author is simply following the same formula she has for years. She's no longer writing something new or fresh, no longer challenging herself or her readers.
A truly successful author seeks the new, the different, and dares to step to the edge of the precipice every single time. (S)he is always learning, always growing.
Don't fear the brave new world. Embrace it, and your readers will come along for the ride!
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