I recently had a conversation with a co-worker that wanted some tips on photography. She got a new digital camera over the holidays. The best advice I can give is if you want to be a good photographer, take pictures. (that means practice) If you want to be a great photographer, take lots of pictures. (In other words, practice alot.) Not too long ago I visited Hardware Ranch in Hyrum, Ut. There wintering elk come to be fed, and for a small fee you can take a horse drawn wagon ride out into the middle of them. As long as you remain on the wagon the elk, though nervous, don't perceive you as threat. And you can take pictures up close and personal.
So if you are not making mistakes you are not trying hard enough. Be far enough outside your comfort zone that you can't perform perfectly. Flawed may not be perfect, but it is more interesting.
The "END" of course.