In past posts, I bemoaned the difficulty of being a non-technical arty type. By definition, an artist is someone who has mastered a technical skill and then produces something that is based in but goes beyond that technical realm.
A side product of my foray into web publishing has been a desire to improve – to master. Training courses are, of course, one way to improve, but money is the first requirement. In contrast, the old adage, “Two Hours A Day”, is more immediately achievable. Well, sort of. In the absence of a full two hours, I’m trying some intense condensation of effort in the form of training drills.
First, I should understand how to get the best out of them.
I started with an internet search using the word “drills”, but the top hits were power tools. “Training drills” produced sporting sites. Then, I tried “how do training drills work” and still no luck. The internet is usually so helpful.
Finally, “military drill”, as it was a talk about military culture that started this train of thought.
Close-order drills were the hallmark of the conduct of war. Lines of attack and defence moving towards each other, one more impenetrable than the other. Close-order drills are now the stuff of parade grounds, but the fundamental concept can also be found on many sporting fields. The strongest image to mind is the rugby scrum – packs of tensioned muscle saying “This far and no further”.
From this little bit of research, it seems that determination will be important. A drill without determination would be a waste of time.
Dictionaries are always helpful when I’m trying to understand something. It is an opportunity to get beneath the surface of a word. My favourite dictionary is the Oxford.
It has thrown into the mix the word’s original meaning – “to turn in a circle, bore”. It’s a definition that doesn’t inspire progress. There is also a predatory mollusc that bores into the shells of other molluscs and eats their soft tissue. Such negativity. But on the plus side, drills are a way of developing instinctive responses through multiple repetitions – very handy in an emergency.
The idea of “multiple repetitions” brings to mind the factory line, producing row upon row of sameness. For me, the end goal is to develop the skill to produce what I want and produce it every time I want it.
Thinking in action
My first attempt at pinch pot drills produced a great deal of non-sameness.
The starting point is rarely the finishing line.