When I first started writing, I thought the key to writing was learning techniques, daily word count, etc. etc. etc. Yes, those are absolutely important—without those, first and final drafts would never manifest. But I think the seed of literary greatness lies in willing to relinquish identity so you can hop from character to character. Sounds cool, right? But wait—it gets unpleasant. Relinquishing identity means tossing aside those treasured beliefs that I’ve fostered throughout my entire life, and within my author’s mind, becoming someone whose pattern of thought and behavior is absolutely repugnant. Otherwise, how would I fully commit to writing a villain? How would I commit to writing someone weak? How would I commit to writing a coward? When I fully commit to writing, it means being honest and trusting enough to have compassion for every misguided character in my stories, and realizing they’re trying to do their best with the cards they’ve been dealt.
(the reverse is also true; the best, truest heroes are the ones that are flawed).