Staying in preparation mode is too safe.
Real progress occurs when there’s a price to pay, when something meaningful is at stake.
Do you really want to get better? If so, raise the stakes. Do it it for an audience. Give your work the opportunity to be accepted or rejected, loved or hated, acknowledged or ignored, valued or criticized, appreciated or dismissed, purchased or left on the shelf.
Incentives matter. When the capacity for loss is mostly theoretical, so is the capacity for learning. When the consequences are real, when the feedback from the world is real, when the results of your actions are real, the basis for improvement is real.