For a very long time I was a person that wouldn’t practice. A lot of things I’ve tried came naturally to me so it was easy to keep up the work and stay at my inducted level of “good”ness. However if there was something I was intrigued by that I wasn’t immediately pretty good at I would give up before even starting. Why? Because I was terrified of being imperfect. This lead me to failing before I could even get started. Yeahyeahyeah, we’ve heard that about a million times, right? We know that the cliche about cliches being cliches because they’re right…is also right. But what we don’t realize is that by only doing things we’re good at and not improving on other things (or even that thing you’re good at) you’re basically just being an *insert bad word*.
Practice is what makes you better and in the end gives you ways for your hard work to be seen. Rather than pounding away at a typewriter alone without input until you get the perfect prose (which is highly unlikely) you could be writing an underwhelming blog. Which, with practice, becomes a showcase of how far you’ve come since you started. Leading to networking, friends, and just making yourself feel accomplished at the end of the day. Does it feel great if someone doesn’t like it? Heck no. But does it feel great if you never finish anything because you’re too scared to get started? Even more heck no.
The other ingredient for this practice pie is actually having a way to practice and doing it. I want to practice with a close-up filter/new lens but I don’t have a human subject. Welp, I guess I’ll just pack it in and watch Daredevil for the 15th time, eh? (No offense to Daredevil because it’s a fantasmic show with very pretty people) No! Do as the inventive do (obviously I don’t mean me) and grab whatever is closest to you and go. to. work. Practice how you have to, even if it means on the Disney Infinity Merida figure you happen to have on your desk (who is the queen of practicing to perfection). Are you a writer that wants to experiment with iambic pentameter because it’s making a resurgence and you want to be at the head of it but you don’t even have a poetry class nearby? Read a bunch of Shakespeare, join an online forum or post an ad asking for help and start writing those ten syllable lines. Do you want to get paid to travel? Travel and talk about it in a blog. Take photos. Do you want to start a blog? Start one and start sucking because believe me – your initial attempts will suck. But the more you stick it out and practice what it is you want to do, you will get better.
Which brings me to appreciating those people being open about practice and not making it look as effortless as the final product would have you believe. It seems like no one else had to practice – they just showed up/opened the shop/bought the domain and the success came. We all know that’s bull doodoo though. We all tend to keep it a little hush-hush though because practicing sucks: it’s hard work, it sucks to know that you suck in comparison, and sometimes it’s close to impossible to be able to practice how you want to. The great thing about practice though is that even though it’s ugly and you stink up the place 15 times, if you keep going you’ll get better. Then you can enjoy the effortless look that so many who have come before enjoy. So here’s to practicing how you have to, until you can do it like you want to (heh).
Wishing you plenty of ways to practice (even if it’s Disney Infinity figures),