For the first hour or ten on any video game I play, I suck at it. I suck hard at it. I eat turf, take laser beams up the ass, and walk off cliffs to see if they're really cliffs.
And this is why I think I shouldn't blog. (And why I should never again visit the mountains.) Not that it's physically dangerous or that I've got a clever metaphor about getting sodomized with lasers. It's more about how I think.
I obsess with the irrelevant and the minute until I've figured out not only up from down, but cliffs from secret passages, and how stupid I'm willing to look from how stupid I will look when I run squealing after that background animal.
And then it clicks. I now have enough data and practice for my robot to wipe the floor with your ninja. The only question stupider than “Rematch?” is asking how I did it.
“Uh... the x, no the y... really both relate to the z and w in the following complex and tentatively linked ways. But that's not what does it, that's just another result... it's more like. Think about v. And u. You'll get it.”
I can't use what I've learned in a meaningful manner until I've built it up so far from the foundation it's unrecognizable. And opaque, so I can’t look back on all the little ins and outs I’ve learned. I flip from the new kid to the old hat in the space of a few seconds and in that moment all the lessons I've built up into skills are hidden from me. I can make vague gestures at where each one went, but I can't remember how it all came together.
This is also what makes me terrible at understanding and writing they dynamics of human relationships. But that's a lot of what writing is, and if I know anything it’s that I want to write. So here's to walking off of cliffs and hoping the worst that happens is I smash my nose on the force-field barrier.
Can you just crash through, learn as you go? Or do you have to build the big picture out of the pieces?