Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
I now appreciate that the writer's journey is a very real thing. Equally importantly, no two people take exactly the same path, and nobody ends up at the same place. It's always different, unique as a fingerprint.
Yet I think the qualities that help writers on this journey are pretty universal. Willingness to grow is probably the most important one, and that's closely coupled to humility and honesty. Without a willingness to grow, there is no journey. There can be no improvement. If you can't be honest about yourself, about your own work, then you'll stall. Everybody talks about perseverance, but I'd rank it way below the ability to use criticism. If you're working 10 hours a day, yet you keep repeating the same mistake, then you might as well just quit.
I find myself continuously surprised how much is involved in this. True, I do everything the hard way, but I never expected my own journey would be so fundamentally challenging. I never imagined that trying to publish a measly middle-grade adventure would eventually challenge the deepest parts of my personality, would expose my oldest defenses and ask me to do the very things that are hardest for me.
My fondest wish is that every writer I know pushes forward, and I get frustrated and bummed when I see someone giving up, giving in or pushing back. Then I remember that I've done my fair share of fighting, and I've had my heart broken a few times, and it sucks.
But I wouldn't trade this journey, not for anything (although I wouldn't mind televising a chunk for some extra $$$). I'm so glad to be part of the writing community, glad to be around my people. I can always recognize them from their carpal tunnel, near-sightedness, and bags under the eyes from staying up too late, reading.