Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Prefer Parallels

I was thinking about how I rarely speak directly about craft. Rather than write a post about verbs or passive voice or soliloquy, I write about running or bird watching or depression. I would choose to write about things that aren't writing, but that relate to writing.

My initial thought is that it may be that I don't actually have that much to say about writing. That's ridiculous, though, because I always do relate my posts to writing. If I really wanted, I would start the same way, but edit out the non-relavant bits to make them be more standard articles about writing.

Therefore, I am not doing it for lack of capability. So, I must be doing it because I prefer the parallels. I learn far better with similar examples. It allows me to isolate, for one thing. If I am shown two things and am told they are similar, I can figure out exactly what they have in common. This includes both construction and operation.

Learning from parallels is a general thing, though. Some lessons need to be direct and blunt. Rather than explain it with a story, I just the facts and the crucial parts. This is usually only true for subjects within my fields. Most martial arts simply need to be shown to me; I don't need any explanations other than what specifically my body does. The same is true in large part for music, at least the ones I've  practiced.

Different people, though, simply have different learning methods. Whatever floats their boats is cool by me. I understand what works best for me and I know why it does. It may not be effective to everybody, but if you don't know what to try, then give it a shot and see if parallel learning works well for you.

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