On this observation journal page, I was collecting notes on where I’d learned what I knew (so far) about writing. (If this looks familiar, the page was the basis of for the post Writing — A Short History of Lessons Learned.)
Broadly (in case you want to attempt something similar) I started dropping all the places I could think of having learned anything about writing onto the page (words in circles), and then listed off each the main lessons I’d learned there. Then I looked for patterns.
It was not exhaustive — among other things, I did it at 3am — but it was a useful exercise, for several reasons (this is not an exhaustive list):
- there are always lessons that need to be re-learned, and having them in one place is handy
- knowing how I learn has made it much easier to deliberately learn
- there are occasionally minor incidents that turn out to have been quite important, and it’s useful to know what they were and why, the better to seek out similar approaches (and thank people — the mentorship bubble is 75% Angela Slatter)
- it also made it much easier to give your-mileage-may-vary answers to questions other people asked me about writing
- there’s an honesty and humility that comes from working out from where (and how late) certain lessons were learned — quite useful when doing any amount of teaching
This page turned into the post Writing — A Short History of Lessons Learned.
The main patterns, in the order learned (more detail at the earlier post) were:
- Knowing I wanted to do it.
- Actually doing it.
- Finishing it.
- Getting stylish.
- Running with others.
- Learning structure.
It’s also lovely revisiting this page (and the previous post) now, because I can see I’m still learning, and how, and what — particularly through the process known as “now do it again”, and the structural and style exercises from this journal, and the much more deliberate reading and learning I’m doing as a result. I might need to do this exercise again soon.
Also, I don’t think I’ve done this exercise for illustration yet, for some reason. One to put on the list.
Support and/or follow
If you’d like to support art and writing and posts like this about it, here are some options: