Thursday, 21 August 2014

Practise makes perfect... or at least better.

I am now a complete expert on blogging, having had a blog for a whole year and two months. In the same way that I am an expert on children because I have changed a couple of nappies and read "Where is Spot" at least a dozen times (well, maybe half a dozen times but I used voices and everything!).

I may also be prone to hyperbole. Yeah, maybe...

What I am humbly aware of is that doing something regularly really does help make you better at it. And that is what this blog has done for me.

A few months ago I read a post on Cook Republic, an award-winning Australian blog, where Sneh talks about her eight years of blogging and the path from "ugly looking curries shot at awkward amateur angles" to the magical, inspiring creation it is today- my words, not hers, she is very humble. It helped me feel better about some of the very average photographs I took in the beginning...

and that the ones I take today that are still far from perfect, but are coming along quite nicely.

salted caramel bread pudding recipe hot cross buns
Salted Caramel Bread Pudding Recipe

Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Slice recipe

I bought a camera just before I moved to Melbourne three and a bit years ago. I wanted to document my time in this new city. But without an audience or many photography skills, after a week or two of enthusiastic shots of my lounge room the camera went into a drawer and pretty much stayed there until the creation of le blog.
lounge room red pictures
My lounge room in my tiny Fitzroy flat

In a little over a year I have learnt to edit photos to a reasonable degree and also to take a not completely atrocious frame in the first place. Just by doing it regularly. I am at the point where I desperately want a better camera and definitely a short course in photography because even if I never get very good at it I find recording the world magnificently satisfying and enjoyable.

The most wonderful thing has been my confidence in writing. I have always used my voice confidently (and excessively) but completely lacked any belief in my ability to communicate without volume. For the last year, two to three times a week, I have sat down for an hour or two (or sometimes more) and written. At the beginning I would make The Bookworm proof-read everything and ask nervously about three times if it was OK before I hit 'Publish'. Now he occasionally mentions my post in conversation a few days after it was written and the butterflies are minimal (I realise at times my editing is a bit shite and perhaps I should get him to proof-read).

This confidence has extended past my blog to so many areas of my life. I can now write an important email without fretting. My vocabulary has increased (I will admit to regularly looking up words to make sure I know what they mean before I use them). I feel (marginally) more confident sharing my thoughts at industry wine tastings and I feel like I am slightly better at structuring an intelligent sentence (as opposed to just ranting my opinion) in meetings and at gatherings.

I have always been the type to only pursue the things I was good at. Fortunately I have been blessed with a reasonable number of gifts and talents or I would have spent my life lying on the floor eating tubs of ice cream. Yes, I am much better lying on the floor than lying in bed or sitting on the couch; and there are few in this world that can rival my ice cream eating skills.

I will always leave all the early posts on the blog, complete with shadowy, cluttered photos, made-up words and too-long sentences, to remind me where I started. Alright... I still make up words and don't really observe sentence-structure guidelines but it has only been a year!

"For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." Aristotle




8 comments:

  1. Hah, I cringe a bit at some of my earlier stuff from a few years back (written and photographed) but then I think I was still genuine, as you are and a lot of people are and you can't really change that can you?

    Photography and writing is something so accessible to most of us now, and we all only ever get better with time. I think it's much easier to be yourself online when you're not hugely monetized as well, the more professional bloggers are a bit more limited in their content and delivery.

    Oh and one of my best talents is drinking wine and eating Kettle chips on the lounge ;)

    And that pudding! How sticky and glorious it looks! I really must try a hot cross bun pudding at some point.

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    1. That's an excellent talent Emma. I also am very talented in this area. I am getting better at just buying sea salt kettle chips so that the flavour doesn't clash with the wine too.

      I think it's really healthy to look back and recognise your achievements, it helps you relies you can overcome all the current hurdles just as you managed that last lot :)

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    2. *realise not relies. Perhaps a typing course should be my next challenge.

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  2. Nicely put... I feel like my photography skills have come on leaps and bounds in the last year too, although I'm no where near very good! My early shots make me cringe but I agree that we need to leave them there to remind us how far we have come... here's to the journey! Oh, but I do challenge your ice cream eating skills! x

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  3. Awesome post; very wise words indeed! Congratulations on honing your photography skills (well, ALL of your skills!), and also, how fabulous is your lounge room?! I love it!

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    1. Haha, you should see the skeleton, just out of frame :)

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  4. I'm finally past the painful cringing that used to go with the looking back at older posts but I think as with anything: the more you do it the better it gets and the more you want to do it. It's like the opposite of a vicious cycle. A happy cycle? (that sounds like an unattainable period).
    Any hobby that can have such a positive impact on the rest of your existence is cracking
    M x

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