Katie, you are quite right, we don’t grow as writers in a vacuum.
Scott Myers

I agree completely that anytime someone tells you, You MUST do it this way (which usually means ‘my way’ )then you should take a step back. My point has always been to be open to learning new ways to approach whatever your bliss is.

I started reading as a writer-that is, I read something through once and if it resonates with me, if I feel for the characters, if I become immersed in it, I read it again as a writer. How did they build this character? What did the character do or say that gave me insight into their personality? When did I lose myself in the story? What metaphors helped me visualize the action? Why did they work? And I find myself reading paragraphs more than once when I love the particular sound of a group of words.

And that is one way to learn to be a writer, but that only happened for me once I started looking around for better ways to write.

I appreciate your clarifying and responding. Your post gave me more to think about and another way to teach myself.