I remember when I was learning to drive (a scary 12 years ago). During one driving lesson, the instructor made me spend an hour getting in and out of the same roundabout. It was the dreaded “B&Q roundabout” and I hated it. Every time I got closer, my palms were sweaty and my heart was pounding. My mind felt like a mess, trying to process everything I had to do. Give directions, cut the brakes, change gears, check your mirrors, check for other cars, choose your lane. Oh my god, which lane is it?! And cars are coming from all angles, with or without lights, so you don’t know who’s going where.
So when my instructor told me to do nothing but 60 minutes of B&Q roundabouts, I hated him to the core of my being.
This story has a predictable ending, so I won’t bore you with it, but as you can imagine, each roundabout entrance and exit gets a little easier, and by the end of the hour, I’m out of breath. However, I continued. You can get off a roundabout without batting an eyelid.
“When something is scary or difficult, just repeat it over and over again until it becomes natural,” my driving instructor told me. And all of a sudden, it wasn’t so scary or difficult.”
I never expected to learn such profound life lessons while learning to drive, but this really stuck with me. And you know, he was right. Every time I approach that damn roundabout, I remember what he said and drive across it like a bad guy. I’ve done it so many times that it’s second nature (except a few weeks ago, when they were doing roadworks, I went back) to know which lane to go in. (I didn’t know what was going on, so I lunged at the sweaty, scared 17-year-old!)
this is how I felt about vlogging and was one of the reasons I participated in vlogmas. Vlogmas was his December challenge to create a video (or vlog) every day leading up to Christmas. Making videos is something I really need to learn for my career as a blogger, but it’s also something I want to do personally because I want to look back at my family’s videos in a few years.
To my delight, I created a video every day during Vlogmas. However, we didn’t publish it because too many people didn’t want to publish it because most of it was too personal, too boring, and too ridiculous. Faces are plastered all over YouTube.
If you’re not interested in vlogging or watching vlogs, remove the word “vlog” from this post and replace it with a skill you’ve wanted to learn but are too busy or just afraid to give let’s try it.
Yes, I’ve been busy, but the real reason I haven’t vlogged before is because I was afraid of being bad at it. I’m still pretty bad at it, but I won’t get any better if I don’t try. I’ve read all the guides and watched all the videos offering tips and advice. I’ve been talking to vloggers and cheekily asking them for words of wisdom. But at the end of the day, the only way to learn something new is to just try. There is only so much you can learn from books, blogs, and video blogs.
Vlogmas was like a crash course in video creation and I got to try something new every day. Just like learning a language, you can’t start and stop studying every few weeks and expect to improve quickly. Skills require daily effort or it will take a lifetime to improve.
Throughout the month of Vlogmas, I learned to edit a little faster and learned what to shoot and what not to shoot. I’ve become more confident in front of the camera, but I’ve also become more confident behind the camera. I created a new routine in my life so I could have extra time to work on these skills. And I realized that if I really wanted to, I could find an extra hour or two every day.
They say it takes 10,000 hours to become good at something. That’s a really long time and enough to delay starting anything in the first place. But it takes 21 days to create a new habit, and I definitely created a new habit during Vlogmas. It’s not a chore or work project that I have to do, it’s a habit and old habits die hard, so I’m slowly moving towards accumulating 10,000 hours.
The moral of this post is that if you really want to do something new or learn a new skill, you should just do it. But don’t just do it once, do it over and over again every day until it becomes a habit. Do it until it’s no longer difficult or scary. If you keep doing it until it becomes a habit, you may become good at it before you know it.
I really enjoyed participating in Vlogmas. So I’m going to continue vlogging throughout the new year and create one-minute videos. I don’t know yet if I’ll publish all of these videos, but I’ll let you know if I do!