Fish out of water

My sister recently told me she was frustrated with a martial arts class she’s been taking. She’s new to the class, but after having been to the class several times began to feel angry with herself for not being able to get her body to move the way she wants it to. She told me that logically she knew that she needed to give her self time, but couldn’t help feeling like a fish out of water.

My advice to her was to embrace the “fish out of water” feeling instead of fighting it. By that I meant that she should take advantage of the fact that she felt like a complete beginner, setting aside any preconceived notions and simply allow herself to listen to her instructors and learn. It’s easier said than done, of course. But this concept of “beginner’s mind” (something I learned about in my own martial arts classes and try to implement in my own life) can be applied to everything, including writing. If you approach every subject as a beginner- ready to explore and learn something new- then you’ll undoubtedly get much more out of the experience. If you’re writing about something and set aside everything you think you know when you begin your research then you’ll learn new things and your final piece of writing will be that much richer and well informed.

As always, I wish you the best with your writing and all endeavors.

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About seescottwrite

I'm a writer and editor. I've worked for Writer's Digest, HOW and Popular Woodworking and have authored and co-authored several books including "The Monster Spotter's Guide to North America," "The Unofficial Hobbit Handbook," and "The Writer's Book of Matches."
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2 Responses to Fish out of water

  1. Mike Johnson says:

    Good post! Reminds me of the poet David Whyte who said that “Poetry is hearing yourself saying things you didn’t know you knew”. Beginner’s Mind is, indeed, the key!

  2. dana says:

    Good post, Scott. I like to read about the interplay between writing and other sorts of activities, whether it’s martial arts or hanging out with family.

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