1: Those Who Can Do, Teach
I’m going to be honest, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am right now if I wasn’t able to discover resources from designers who have experience. These people were gracious enough to share what they know with the less-experienced, and that is extremely valuable. Nobody has to learn this stuff on their own, seek out learning materials, tutorials, whatever you can find. If you find it valuable, pass it on.
2: Practice, Practice, Practice
The key to getting better is practice. You don’t have to publicly share every piece of work you create, the important thing is that you’re creating. Always create, if you don’t have a project in mind then come up with something. Create a small icon set, build a website about your favorite hobby, do something, anything, that flexes the creative muscles you are trying to build.
3: Progress is not Linear
The thing about practice is that while you will get better overall not everything you do will be better than the last thing. It’s easy to think that you have to “beat” the last work you shared, but it’s not always an easy thing to do. I feel it’s pretty self-defeating to allow yourself to get hung-up on surpassing what you’ve already done, and holding everything else you do to that standard.
4: Real Artists Ship
Nobody’s work is perfect, so why should yours have to be? Almost perfect is more than good enough, and that is the truth. You could spend hours, days, weeks, or longer trying to do something “just right”. You have to ship eventually, either to a client or to your audience. Also, too much tweaking can lead to a worse overall product. By all means sweat the details, that’s the sign of a good designer, but don’t get consumed by them.
5: Don’t Get Discouraged
Most importantly, don’t ever give up. So what, your Dribbble post only has 6 likes? Only 1 person read your blog post? That’s fine, because everybody starts somewhere. Everybody who’s getting tons of ‘likes’ and lots of web traffic started right where you are. They got there not because they’re special, but because they didn’t give up.