Thursday 18th February 2021

One of the things I wanted to do more of in 2021 was learning.  I’ve picked up a bunch of courses over the year and whilst I’ve dipped in and out of them, I don’t feel I’ve sat down and really studied.

Primarily I’m interested in story theory – how stories work or don’t – and whilst I don’t see any one thing as prescriptive, I like the idea of dipping my toe in and seeing what works and doesn’t for some people.  It’s also useful when, for example, I’m doing a Netflix screenwriter’s seminar and the techniques they talk about are ones I’ve encountered already.

But I’m interested in wider things, and my plan is to try and broaden my interests a little.

I’ve improved my notetaking, if only by doing a lot of it recently, and have started keeping detailed notes in Notion.  I still think I can improve, as I think there’s a stage that comes after the initial notetaking where I go back in and tidy my notes up; make them a study aid rather than just notes.

I might get some practise of that latter stage in the coming months as I’m doing a bunch of IT training.  IT is my day job occupation and the problem with learning in that space is that as much as it is encouraged by employers, trying to a) find time b) get anything meaningful that you can take with you to future roles is difficult.

But I spotted a bunch of free Microsoft Training, and so I signed up for it all.  There’s a chance to take certifications in it at the end so this could prove something that is worth  studying rather than just learning about.

There was a lot of training available and I jumped at the chance.  The downside to all this was that it’s a hell of a lot of training in a 6 week period.  Today was the 3rd day of training I’ve had this week.

And it’s interesting, but I can’t pause the video and so I’m frantically trying to type up notes while someone speaks.  It’s like being back at University where my writing hand would often ache at the end from making all these notes.

If that wasn’t enough, I’ve also done a short course on public speaking.  I figure it’s a handy skill to have if I’m ever giving talks or readings, and whilst I don’t think I’m bad at aspects like projecting my voice, this course has been more focused on what makes an interesting talk.  This is a course I got on offer from Udemy some years back, and it’s proving pretty interesting.  At least there I can pause the video as I scribble down notes.

My idea is really to have something I can go back and quickly refresh myself on.  Perhaps I take too many notes, perhaps I need to be more selective.

And the downside to all this training is that already this week I feel a little burnt out.  No wonder with 3 courses done.

However, I consider them all a future investment in myself so a few hectic weeks may be something I’m thanking myself for years down the line.

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