This week’s Discover Challenge: Mind the Gap
I’ve talked (and written) in the past about how the length of time it takes for a great idea to get from my brain to my hands can be the all-determining factor in how disastrous something can be for me (Related: She’s (Not) Crafty and Practice Makes Perfect?). It has held true for many years -any artistically great idea I’ve ever had seems great in theory but usually winds up nothing quite like I pictured. I can look at a visual example of something crafty, and it turns out to look nothing like the example.
I always liked drawing as a kid (who didn’t?), but the older I got, the more I realized how my drawings looked like something a six-year-old would make, and while that was cute, by fourteen years old, it looks, well, immature. I stopped drawing by the time I got to high school for that very reason.
My preferred learning method (given the opportunity exercise the various methods) is visual. I like instructions written, examples to be depicted in pictures or words – preferably words, and everything I will need to know handy in order to complete something. At work, I ask people to send me email reminders for things they need me to do – I like seeing things in writing, as it keeps me accountable.
One of the few things that I’ve been lucky enough to never have a “gap” (or if I ever did, I’ve probably defied it without even knowing it) in would be writing – I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I’ve found through practice, I’ve gotten better at it. I’ll contend that some the best writing I’ve done has occurred in the last eighteen months, when I decided that I really wanted to work at it. The execution gap seems to close when I’m writing – I find words easily flow between brain and fingers, and when they don’t, I write what I can think of, and come back later to form those thoughts more coherently. Sometimes it takes me a few hours to circle back, but sometimes it takes a little longer. I’ve got drafts sitting in my WordPress queue that are awaiting edits and screenshots. I’ll cycle back to them when the time is right, like after the holidays when my writing inspirations are not holiday-themed like they are right now.
I’d like to think my inspiration for finding my ability in writing to be that I’ve noticed no one else in my closest circle has this as a hobby. I have friends that are great at crafty things, cooking, athletics, things like that. I used to be a dancer, and I wasn’t half-bad at it, but since I injured my ankle and had to deal with the complications that came as a result, I found writing to be a great way to express myself, and claim something as my own. In dance, I had many “brain to feet” gap moments, but in writing, those moments don’t happen. There is something about me, words, and the computer screen (or the paper) that close the gap. I don’t feel frustrated or rushed. I don’t worry about impressing a particular crowd or pleasing others – the right readers will find their way to me, and I’ll gain an audience. I actually have as a result. Praise and acceptance into a writing community has eroded any possible frustration I could have had about lowered readership, or even the low expectations I always worry about.
The gap is what you make of it – mind it, and you’ll hold yourself back. Defy it, and find out what your true talent is.