Apprenticeship and #LiveTheQuest

This week’s Quest prompt was intriguing.

What skill set do you need and want to develop or to hone? #skill
Between a naive hobbyist amateur and a signature artist is a curious apprentice. If you ever lose the apprentice’s edge, you risk either keeping your head in the sands of fear or in the clouds of arrogance.

To live your question and respond to your challenges differently, what new skill set do you need and want to develop this quarter in order to execute your one project or something else exceptionally well? What existing skill set do you need and want to hone and sharpen? How can you do so more intentionally?

I like the metaphor of the apprentice, which leaves me wondering about Mastery and Journeymanship…

Where am I a hobbyist? 

Sewing! Drawing, cartooning, painting. Most of the physical arts. Photography! I enjoy playing with color and shape and shadow, but I’m not adept at it. I like learning and stretching those skills. I love to craft and try to create something out of bits of nothing.  I like sketching and playing with ways to tell stories in ways beyond words.  (Also, acting, singing, music and dancing)

Where am I a master? 

Have I achieved mastery at any of my skill sets? I’d say that I have with SEO. “Technical skills”. I can put together a website and make sure it ranks. I can make it useable and clear. I can get my pages to the top of Google results, and I know how to keep that momentum going.  This is where I excel.

I also know how much I don’t know, and I know how much the industry is always changing. I believe mastery includes a bit of wide-eyed exploration and ongoing curiosity. It has to remain an infinite puzzle, or it loses its fascination.

Where am I a journeyman?

I consider myself a journeyman at writing. I’ve begun taking the storytelling skills on the road – by querying agents and submitting work for publication – and I’m starting to ply my wares in the marketplace.  They are not works of master craftsmanship, and I’m still learning. I’m still learning my own process. I want to hone that until I understand the way my inner plot-building apparatus works. I’m still working on my craft. I’m not quite to the stage of mastery – where the craft is an eternal mystery for constant challenge and joy. I’m still working out my own personal way of approaching the stories I want to tell.

I would say I’m a journeyman at public speaking. I’m quite good at it. I could be better. I haven’t honed it to an art that I can master intuitively. I still have to prepare a good bit.

Mentoring. One-on-one lessons I’m good with. I can pace for the individual and tutor or mentor or encourage. I still have more to learn about shaping lessons and letting people figure stuff out on their own.

Where am I an apprentice?

Social media marketing, and social media optimization. Overall branding and marketing. I have learned a lot, but there’s still a lot I don’t know about marketing. I get the technical stuff, I’m not sure about the people side.

Teaching, training – on a larger scale. I can mentor one on one, and I can speak publicly, but combining those two skills into teaching something is a knack I’m still trying to acquire.

Influencing people. I still tend to bulldoze if I get too impassioned. I need to learn a little bit of subtlety.

dogwoods with filter - aka anderson


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