In a recent episode of the unfinished business podcast, Andy Clarke is joined by Jeffrey Zeldman and Jeremy Keith to talk about writing on the web. Jeremy explains his 100 words project and stresses the importance of writing for yourself on your own website. They also touch briefly on the subject of learning and how we sometimes feel we stagnate in learning new things.
This very inspiring conversation got me thinking. To be honest, I’ve been guilty of holding back and self-censorship when it came to writing, although I’ve always wanted to write more. And the reasons are always the same: either I thought the subject I was going to write about wasn’t interesting enough, or I assumed someone else had already written about it.
But when it comes to learning, I don’t really have the feeling of stagnation. Although I’ve been working in web design and development for about 8 years now, I’m picking up new things every day – not to mention the stuff I’m learning outside of work.
I think it really depends on what we define as learning. If we’re talking about picking up a new skill then sure, we don’t learn new things everyday, simply because it usually takes more than one day to do something completely new with confidence. But for me, learning is much more than familiarizing myself with a new technique. In it’s essence, I see learning as a gaining of knowledge. I think people are constantly learning new things, however small they may be, but they’re not really aware of it anymore.
To overcome one issue and appreciate the other, I decided to write about the things I learn everyday. This may be something web design or development related or something completely different. The point is, to recognise that learning happens every day and to be conscious of it.
And that’s what I learnt today.