Learning by Doing

Learning by doing

[ Trial and error as the way forward  ]

Many people who are reluctant to start writing are driven by an understandable fear :

  • the fear of what others might say;
  • the fear that they may not be good enough;
  • the fear that they have nothing intelligent to add to the discussion;
  • the fear that others have already covered the points raised and done it so eloquently that there’s no point in covering old ground;
  • the fear of confirming what they already believe they are capable of…

The list goes on.

I confess. I too had many of these fears and the good news is that there is no limit to the number of fears one can possibly hold on to. Ha!

Many years ago, I knew I needed a way forward that could circumvent all these fears.

Another thing I faced was my desire to discover everything I could on the subject of writing well. It was as if one could simply get better by reading all there was to know about a topic. What did that lead to? A lot of reading. And over time, I realised there is only so much good material to chew on. A lot of the time you’re reading the same things out there, just with a new face/title/headline image to support it.

But it was the history I built – the time and effort put in on those small, miserable number of posts – that kept me going.

This also inevitably led to that disease – procrastination. Tomorrow would come, things would improve then. The way would be clearer, I would know what approach to take. The terror of the blank page held sway.

That was when I decided to commit to writing a blog. How was I to begin? I needed a dedicated platform but more importantly, a space and time I could put aside consistently to write. At that point, it was less about the what and more the how and why. I needed a reason to do this and I needed a way to push forward. What I was to write about was largely irrelevant at that point, strange as that may seem.

Looking back over the years, I had good days and bad. Work frequently got in the way, leaving empty swathes of time when there would be nothing published (yes, you’re right. That is happening still). I struggled. I could have let that stop me, I was well on my way down that path anyway. But it was the history I built – the time and effort put in on those small, miserable number of posts – that kept me going. Looking back on what was built, I felt compelled to carry on. And when the number of posts grew, it was less about it being easier and more about me being more comfortable with what was needed of me.

When I look back on those early posts, I shudder in disappointment at the quality put out. How can I leave it out there? Why should I not delete it?

I started with nothing and then, there was something.

No, I realised then one crucial fact. One of the most important things about learning to write is discovering who you are and what you are about. Until you write, you’re a muddle internally. You have thoughts swirling inside, you have conversations of both the said and unsaid. Phrases and long sentences and disjointed jumbles everywhere.

Writing helps untangle all of this. It provides clarity, direction, smoothness. Writing helps you become more articulate and helps you discover and then strengthen, your voice. And while you can do all this writing in a diary that no one else is privy to, the true test and growth comes when you lay it all out  – on the line.

The courage and patience
… to say what you need to say
… to defend your idea, approach or position
… to hear feedback and respond.

So, it’s fair to say that I learnt writing simply by doing. I started with nothing and then, there was something. And it grew and I persisted and the rest is history.

Learn by doing. Explore and experiment.
Throw care to the wind.
Be right out there.
Be a frontierswoman or man and live right at the very edge.

What do you think? Do these suggestions make sense?


If you like this post, I hope you will share it. If you need help with your writing, with getting published or with strengthening your brand, feel free to reach out. Let’s have a chat.

#growth #learning #communication
Photo of dawn landscape sun and mountain by pixabay.com

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