I think there have been moments when we all have seen someone else doing something and though ‘I would love to try that’. Followed swiftly by ‘but…’ and the plethora of reasons why you just aren’t ready to do it yet. For many, this procrastination is intertwined with fear of failing, or of not being good enough to even attempt to start blogging, for example. I’ve been learning that most people feel this way to some degree and that’s comforting
Whether it’s blogging, painting, rollerskating, skiing, journalling or whatever, here are some notes and lessons I’ve learned about getting started and ultimately, getting good.
Be willing to learn
Look for people that are already pretty good at whatever it is you want to learn to do, and learn from them. This can be via you-tube, books, mentors, classes or a combination of resources. While their methods may not completely work for you, it may be a good starting point before you gain confidence and make tweaks that are more your style. But with learning, comes moments of failure and frustration, so understand that this is part of the process. Leverage mistakes by making good use of the lessons you learn along the way.
Don’t be afraid to be terrible at the thing
Wanting to be perfect immediately can often hold us back from ever starting what we fancy trying out. So I guess we just have to embrace not being ‘great’ at whatever it is we’re learning. And allow ourselves to look a little silly now and again. It’s tempting to quit when you don’t do as well as you would like. But from my experience so far, making first-hand mistakes really helps in developing techniques that work for you specifically.
You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
— Octavia E. Butler
Be patient and be disciplined
Improvement takes time. So keep at whatever is that you’re trying to perfect, and learn along the way. If necessary, set up a schedule to practise or study the craft you’re learning. Keep in mind why you want to do what you’re doing- whether it’s just because you think it’s cool, or to have another means to earn an income- and allow that to help to motivate you to keep moving forward.
Don’t be like me and post 1 blog post every 6 months, then 1 per week, a couple per day then nothing for a month. People keep saying ‘consistency is key’. So I’ll try that out and let you know if it’s true.