Practise practise practise

typewriterWhen I was learning the piano, my teacher used to encourage me to learn my scales.  Scales were boring.  Scales were only invented to torture me.  I wanted to play, not practice.

When I teach the kids something new, especially something creative, they – and so I – get frustrated because they want to do it all straight away: if they’re learning to make a game, they want to make the sort of games they choose, not the ones I show them.  When I was teaching kids to play chess, they wanted to play a proper game, not mini games with only a few pieces.

When I’m in a creative mood, I want to be able to get straight on with things.  But I’m starting to realise that I’m trying to bypass an important stage.  First I need to learn, then I need to practise, then I can create.  It’s no good getting frustrated if my flower doesn’t look right if I haven’t practised mixing colours or blending them on the page.  It’s no good getting miserable because my characters are wooden and I can’t do description, if I don’t actively work on those areas of my work.  It’s no good complaining I can’t create an all-singing all-dancing interactive flash resource if I haven’t put in the time and effort to really master the basics.

This is part of what showing up at the page means: to actively practise the art of creativity, in both senses of the word – to improve and to carry out.  Yes I could plunge straight in to my masterpieces, and I would improve, but a more efficient way is to actively work on weak areas, before trying to integrate that with the whole.  That’s another thing I’m learning with the kids as well – that just a short time spent going over what you want to do before you start results in a better end product, and just rushing in headlong is an inefficient way that costs more time than it saves.

So I need to make sure I not only turn up at the page, but I turn up willing to put in the time and effort to practise the skills, not just rush straight in.  Scales might not feel like real playing, but they make the real playing go so much more smoothly, and in the same way drilling with writing or art will also help the creation process.

PS the creativity and writing tags on my tag cloud are outgrowing the inaction and indecision ones!  Yay me!  Anyone else use their tag cloud to influence or judge their writing?

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1 Comment

  1. I totally agree!!!!! I think I’ve developed so much these past 6 months, practising 🙂

    I don’t tend to look at my tags cloud, I will now though lol



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