Learning new stuff is hard, and uncomfortable. But it’s good for us.
Last weekend, I took part in a digital storytelling workshop. It’s a state-wide project, collecting the multi-media stories of 100 California residents, a collaboration between Sonoma County Library, Creative Sonoma (of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board), the California State Library and StoryCenter.
In two days, ten of us created our personal story, subjected it to intense editing (I don’t think I’ve ever written a story in 350 words or less….), recorded our telling, and added images, music, and text.
It was awful.
No, no, the project is amazing. The presenters were awesome. My fellow storytellers were incredible people. And the stories were powerful.
It was learning a video-making process that was so excruciating.
I’ve never used a video editing program before. (We used WeVideo.)
I had issues with my laptop (I accidentally used Google Chrome as my browser instead of Mozilla Firefox, and it kept locking up my computer til I figured out what was going on.) I had issues with my internet connection.
The worst part was, as I struggled to work out these issues, I would ‘space out’ and miss the next steps. My notes–usually quite orderly and thorough–looked like gibberish. Other people were working on their third or fourth draft of their video, and I hadn’t even recorded my story yet!
I felt like an idiot, and a giant crab to boot. (After a certain point, I do not deal with frustration well.) (I don’t think anyone in my group ever wants to talk to me again.)
Fortunately, when I dumped on my husband, Jon said EVERY video editing tool has a steep learning curve.
It simply takes time. And practice. And not giving up.
I also remembered a valuable lesson from writing my first book . I wanted to cover everything about stamp-carving. My editor gently held me back. “Save that for your next book….” she said.
My next book….
That helped. This was my first story on digital multi-media.
There will be more.
Today was my aha moment: I’d forgotten all about the four stages of competency.
This is how we learn.
This is how we move forward.
This is how we grow.
By stepping out of our comfort zone, and trying something new.
So SuperCrab here will persevere. After all, the one thing I learned in martial arts is gold…
A black belt is a white belt who didn’t quit.
P.S. Actually, now I’m learning how to manage a new website for our local arts district. I’m hoping I have hair left when I’m done.
P.P.S. A huge shout-out to Jon Udell (dear hubby) and Alex Kaufman (who rebuilt our hacked SOFASantaRosa website) for all the technical coaching and patience these last two weeks.