Learning to appreciate the learning curve


Learning. We’re always learning. Ta daaa (I felt the introduction needed a salutary fanfare).

Some learn more than others, obviously (you dullards know who you are) but they are always learning nonetheless, despite evidence to the contrary (no, you do not spell etcetera with an ‘x’). Take maths. No…don’t….bad example. I know, take WRITING!

I have ditched a 55k word-fest and now a 35k one had joined its fellow on the rubbish heap of misadventure. But I have realised that every time I go through this ridiculous exercise (typing away like a wordy squirrel with a penchant for diet coke, agoraphobia and a squirrel-sized iMac) I find myself improving. Not creatively, necessarily, but definitely craft-wise, which is erratically rewarding enough, as it happens.

For me writing is not simply about the result (although it’d be nice), it’s more about the sheer joy of scrambling together a scene that does justification to the idea behind it – that paints it as I saw it. Or phrasing something in a way that immediately resonates. It is rewarding in itself, too.

So here I am, 4k into yet another start. The world I have created continues to come into focus at every failure. Although the word ‘failure’ is incorrect. The result of those  tens of thousands of misconceived words means the 4k I have are better than the last two. It’s a learning curve after all. The nature of the beast means it’ll never plateau either so there is endless LEARNING.

The concern is, of course, that I may never finish anything, but I am heartened by the knowledge that I am not a perfectionist so I can see myself, one day, saying, ‘Yep. That’s it done. I am happy with that” although I would hope to use more profound words – words I could one day tell Parky I used and people would quote and Paxman would question fresh-faced under-graduates about.

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