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i don’t know

Peter Hastings Peter Hastings Filmmaker. Musician. Creative Explorer.

Peter Hastings has worked professionally in film, television, theatre, and music for the past 35 years. Peter supports [www.onekidoneworld.org]

PostHASTINGS

In learning how to do a number of different creative things, I’ve noticed that the process of learning a skill is similar, no matter what the skill is:

Stage One – I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

I don’t know what I’m doing but I know I want to do it. Wanting to be a guitar player, strumming badly. Out on the tennis court, having fun hitting a ball and being outside with a friend. Watching the boss make a deal and wanting to make one, too. Watching someone on stage and desperately wanting to do that … but really having no idea how it’s done. Being full of curiosity and passion, loving doing it, but really needing to learn how. So pushing onward to …

Stage Two – I Know What I’m Doing

Taking lessons, watching instructional videos online, or perhaps going to a full-fledged art school – that’s what I did. There I began to understand what the masters did. I discovered the depth of the craft and just how bad I really was. There’s so much to learn. A world of possibility opens up. Stage Two is full of intellect, technique, judgement, theory, and, often, it’s empty of emotion. Stage Two is where many people stay. With a little knowledge and not enough practice, they remain professional amateurs who’ve been talked out of liking what they love. But the real goal should be to press on, to put in the time and reach …

Stage Three – I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

This is the goal. Don’t think about holding the racquet, think about where to send the ball. Don’t think about musical scales, think about expressing emotion. In fact, don’t think at all – only do and be. Stage Three is where experience and intuition mix to become instinct. Choices are made without thought, but are backed up by practiced skills, delivering emotion back into the process. The things that drove the process in Stage One now drive the process again: curiosity, passion, and loving it.

Shoot for Stage Three and the educated bliss of not knowing what you’re doing.

– Peter Hastings

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