Creativity, Innovation and Change

CIC — my Fourth Course via Coursera.com

… and this one promises to be quite the challenge. When I first read about the course (CIC stands for Creativity, Innovation and Change — find the description here), my first thought,

“this might loosen up the creative gears. I feel I’ve been in some sort of coma, from which I am now awakening. And, a paralysis brought on by Fear of Flying/Failure.”

As I watched the first set of introductory video’s, I realized the IFF (Intelligent Fast Failure) from Professor Jack Matson is exactly the way I have learned in the past.

I just never had a name for it, nor a clear connection to the process of learning. Wow.

IFF and knitting

Here’s the analogy:

I taught myself to knit as a youngster — it has become a lifelong process and passion to knit, rip out, re-knit, rip out, and so on until I learned the stitch or procedure I needed.

Sounds tedious, doesn’t it, but it never occurred to me to see the unravelling, the ‘rip out’ stage as a failure — I knew intuitively that this was the only way to learn. And I loved the knitting/ripping out concept for new ideas.

A cable-knit piece of fabric
A cable-knit piece of fabric (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A transferable skill to writing, for example

Just as Prof. Matson suggests, failure is an important (if not the only) way to learn well.

To write, knit up a few words, rip them out, re-knit them, cable a paragraph, purl a sentence, increase, decrease, cast on, bind off and so on. Learn by doing; learn by intelligent fast failure. Carry that lesson away to your stories, your novel, your memoir.

The writing/editing/re-writing is analogous to my old process of knitting/ripping/re-knitting. And hey, sometimes word knitting is pure right from the beginning. Trust your gut on that one.

What skill have you taught yourself to do? How did you do it?

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