The first step to being sort of good at something

Firsts are hard. In particular firsts when you are an adult. 
It's easy as a child to start things. You just start.

Before you realise what a crayon is you have picked it up and have made something. In the case of two year old Harry, it was on the freshly painted walls of the family living room and that thing was a Sharpie dog. You start scrawling out words and getting messy with paints and just let it happen. No fear, no consequences. (Well, sometimes consequences. Imagine a two year old trying to scrub a beautiful Sharpie dog off a beautiful white wall.)

As an adult things are different, there are nagging doubts that pop into your head (what if I fail? what if it's bad?) and in my case I constantly put things in the way of doing something outside of my comfort zone. 

Here's what I wanted to put in my way before starting to write this blog:

Get a cup of coffee
Make sure I'm wearing the right clothes (no sweatpants allowed)
The right kind of background noise
Is the flat clean?
Let me check my emails...
What's happening on Instagram? (The answer is nothing. Nothing is ever happening on Instagram.)

I know full well that doing things is the best way to get good at things. I know that just do it is the easiest said and hardest done phrase. Looking at you, Nike.

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Full disclosure, I'm not a writer. I'm not even a good speller (sp?). I'm dyslexic. I procrastinate about writing constantly. However, against all those thinly masked excuses for why this blog may well be terrible, I am persisting even though I still have doubts (I'm doubting right now!)

I'm writing a blog simply to get better. In the same way that I recently started running, I'm not expecting it to be easy before, during or even after, but in the end it makes you a bit better than you were before the run/writing/thing you are putting off.

I have been reading the brilliant book Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential within Us All by David & Tom Kelly of IDEO which speaks of doing just this, starting and persisting. It includes simple exercises you can do on your own or in a group and reframes fears into possibilities to give yourself a little nudge in the right direction. I mapped out this post using techniques from the book and now its an actual real thing!
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So, here we are at the end of this post and I have successfully written a blog about writing a blog. 

I want to thank you for reading this little blog, I don't know where it'll go and I don't know what I'm doing but I'm doing something. If you feel like finding out then follow my Twitter for updates. See you in the next one.

H

I confess, I did have to make the coffee.

I confess, I did have to make the coffee.


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Harry Thory is a designer & moving image creative.
He is available for freelance work, you can see his portfolio here