Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.
– William Faulkner
One of the most important aspects of writing or mastering any skill, is to study the works of those who have already gone before you. If you want to be a great film maker, then you need to immerse yourself into film, so you can become a walking encyclopedia on the topic. Many people these days want to reach success all on their own, they feel as though they have to rely fully on their own talents and make their own mistakes, while forgetting they have the entire history of mistakes made by mankind at their disposal. In this quote Faulkner is basically saying study everything available in order to hone your craft, you should even be able to use terrible works in your pursuit for perfection, as they can only help you recognize what is actually worth while. This quote should be a motto to anybody who wants to succeed, you can not build anything without a plan, and an example can only strengthen the final product.