Learning In Public: Do I really have to?




I came across the term Learn In Public yesterday when researching my latest Creative Connections podcast guest, Matt Trinetti. He gave a talk called The Magic of Being Human, and his first piece of advice was to be willing to learning in public. 

The concept behind this idea was my worst nightmare. People watch me learn and make mistakes? Um, no thanks! I didn't sign up for that.

I went self-employed a few years ago after leaving a corporate job in banking, my first thought was to approach creativity like I had my previous studies.


I was accepted to read law at university, four years later (my third year was a placement in the workplace), I learned the core foundations of the subject and was given the piece of paper to prove it.

I wanted the same to happen with creativity. To learn, be given a certificate and be told, There you go, you're a qualified creative now. Do your thing!

I didn't realise what I had got myself into. I went self-employed, and this was my first experience of being in charge of my work at the age of 29.

The reality of creativity hit me; you don't need anyone's stamp of approval or permission. You establish your pace and learn as you go.

I've found it tough, I'd been through an education system and a corporate career that praised me for acting on instruction. 

My life's formula was: Receive instruction + complete task = Job well done. And I'm still trying to unlearn this today.

I haven't considered creating to be a difficult task but wow, answering to yourself is hard. I hold the map, and I choose my direction and guess what, if I fail and get lost, that's on me.

It's not the failing that scares me so much, it's doing it publicly.

My plan was to create and creep along in the background unseen. But whether I like it or not, I'm learning in public. I might as well own it.

I trust that owning it will help me gain clarity on where I should take my next projects and hopefully help any of you following a similar career path.

So, from now on, I'm going to use my blog as a place of learning.

And here's my first one:

There is no rule book for creativity, and that's been the struggle for me.



I come from a legal background, where I dedicated most of my adult life to obsessing over the rules, and I've been paid good money for it too. I love a conclusive answer because it's safe and there are no grey areas. 

The most valuable lesson I've learned is that there is no right answer. Creativity comes in different forms, and it's an individualised experience.



You can gain knowledge and increase your confidence by exploring the guiding principles, but there is no rule book, and that's a good thing.

Life for me is all about being curious, creative and learning from others. So, I've thrown the rule book out the window and I'm create my own rules.



Maybe you should try it too.

facilitator - interviewer - podcast host

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© Rachel Matthews 2020