How to Think about Skill-Building

No matter what craft you’re working to master, a major component of your creative journey will be the development of the individual skills that craft requires.

So it’s no surprise that it’s easy to feel the pressure that you must always be building your skills.

But there’s nuance to be had here, as shared in this episode of the What Works podcast: Thinking Differently with Writer Kris Windley.

Within that episode Windley offers a wonderful metaphor that I sketch out in the video above, and share here:

A visual metaphor for skill-building to remind you that you don’t always have to be climbing, you can hang out on the floor you’re on right now and still do good work.

If you think about the craft you’re developing as a building, each floor of which represents a new skill connected to that craft, it’s easy to fall into the trap of always climbing, feeling like you can’t do good work until you get to the very top of the building.

As Windley shares, that’s just not true. You can hang out on any floor of that building and still do good work. In fact, giving yourself that break in skill development will help you maintain your overall upward momentum rather than burning out from too fast of a climb. When you stop to enjoy the view you give yourself the opportunity to appreciate the skills you’ve already developed while also doing good work with those skills.

Because that’s the whole point, isn’t it? To make interesting and meaningful work with your skills. If all you’re doing is climbing, you’re missing out on the whole purpose of craftsmanship: to make things.

Start Taking Visual Notes

If you enjoyed the way I captured the ideas above and would like to develop your own visual note-taking skills, then come join us inside of Verbal to Visual.

There you’ll find complete-at-your-own-pace online courses, weekly live workshops, and a global community of visual thinkers working to master the skill of sketchnoting.

You can learn more here.