Pop-science articles about neuroplasticity have many people convinced that there’s an age when we can (and should) stop learning. I contest that this isn’t the case and learning new skills is a matter of practice, determination and building new habits and identities.
Here are a few skills that I’ve always wanted to build and some ideas for what I plan to do in order to build them.
Gardening — I’ve started a few small gardens before that haven’t lasted very long. My next goal will be to review my gardening books and plan to start my garden after I’ve moved out of my apartment. My goals here are to increase my food security and take a more scientific approach to gardening.
Illustration — now that I’m writing more science fiction, my desire to bring the ideas into life has risen. Small stick figure drawings in my journal plus a lifelong frustration with my artistic abilities mean I have a lot of psychological blocks surrounding drawing.
Ceramics — I’ve always admired homes with kitschy imperfect but beautiful handmade ceramic plates and mugs. This isn’t an immediate goal for me, but I would love to learn how to at least make mugs, plates and basic items for my home.
Bread making — while I’ve definitely mastered my simple dinner roll recipe, I know making bread is so much more than that! I want to learn everything about bread making especially how to create a sourdough started and how to use different grains. So far my sourdough starters have become fly infested failures, but I’m not unwilling to try again.
Solar power engineering — simple solar cells fascinate me and the future of clean energy fascinates me too. From the time I took advanced physics in high school and then electricity & magnetism, I’ve had a secret wish that the practical applications for solar power could be a lot of fun to learn
Videography/direction — anything I can learn behind a camera, I’m up for. I’ve made YouTube videos, cut together book trailers, and I love working on new skills of this nature.
Screenwriting — another form of writing I’m obsessed with right now. Again, my desire to expand my writing skills has led me to this goal. I’ve read a few books on the subject and feel excited to carve out time to flesh out my ideas!
Photo retouching — the inner workings of photoshop and Lightroom enchant me. I recently learned how to use Lightroom to enhance photos and for once, feel confident in a skill in this department. My next step is proper retouching which I feel intimidated by. For this, I’ve watched a number of YouTube tutorials but I know practice makes perfect.
Sculling — Always a coxswain, never a rower, that’s how the phrase goes, isn’t it? 😉 I always felt like sculling would be a powerful workout and totally meditative. I dream of renting or buying a scull and taking it out onto lake Cayuga. Step 1, get myself into rowing condition! This will be one of my top priorities when I move to New York.
Tennis — I have a love, hate relationship with tennis that has mostly been hate. It’s time for me to get out of my awkward, uncoordinated fear and practice again. Having a good outdoor sport under your belt will always give you something to do in the summer!
I was was supposed to publish this yesterday but didn’t meet my goal! Here’s the short/simple post today. What new skills would you like to learn? 👇🏼