Meet Ruby Red. She is a character in one of the picture book stories I’m writing. I’m feeling a little stuck at the moment with the story. The gap between what I’m seeing in my imagination compared to what is coming out in words on the page is BIG. I know to get out of this funk it’s going to be all about writing, and rewriting and more rewriting which equals= HARD WORK and PATIENCE.
There is a book called “The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!” by Josh Kaufman which has some really interesting concepts around learning any new skill in life. In the world there are very few people who don’t get frustrated and don’t want to give up in the beginning stages of learning something new. Josh talks about how there will be a noticeable change in acquisition of any skill if you are able to commit to completing the first 20 hours of deliberate and focused practice. I know with my “Ruby Red and her Quest to be clean” I’m far from having completed 20 hours. In fact, adding it all up, I’ve probably only spent 2-3 hours on the story.
In “The first 20 hours”, Josh also talks about the importance of when you are learning a new skill, you need to deconstruct the skill down into what are the essentials to learning this skill. I have unfortunately learnt this lesson the hard way. For the last two and a half months, I’ve been illustrating my first picture book. It’s been going somewhat smoothly, until the last three quarters. Flicking through the picture book draft, I’ve realised that the characters particularly the main character of the story, Kitty are not consistent in design. So its now all about learning how to draw character turnarounds and then going back into the illustrations to draw them over again. I have a strong suspicion, that I may have ignored this inconsistency in my illustrations because I was inpatient and wanted to complete my first picture book as fast as possible. I’m looking forward to sharing some of these character turnarounds in the future blog posts to come.
I will leave you with a quote that I once heard (please email me if you know who quoted it). I think it has a particular relevance about patience, learning and life in general.
” We don’t hate waiting. We hate waiting when we think it is for a determined amount of time but it exceeds this amount”.