I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
- Pablo Picasso
This is what I've followed in my life, even before my writing life. :) Yes, I did have a life before I started writing novels in 2004. When I was working as a physical therapist, I always tried to get assignments alongside people smarter and more experienced than I was. It was how I pushed myself; how I learned and grew in my work.
I never wanted to be the senior staff member, and even when I did end up in supervisory roles, I still looked for even more experienced mentors, even while I enjoyed mentoring others.
If you coast, you eventually stop. True in driving--gravity and friction will get you every time--unless you're coasting downhill and then it's the sudden deceleration caused by whatever you hit. Taken metaphorically, it's also true in our working and creative lives.
So, what is it that you chose to do recently--that you didn't know how to do, but did anyway?
Mine is jumping into a completely different genre than I've written before. I have no idea if this story will fly, but I know it will push me to be a more versatile writer and will teach me techniques that will enrich anything I write.
That Picasso feller--he was pretty smart.