The struggle finishing my blog post titled While getting things not done carries an irony inside I can surely appreciate. But not only is it amusing.
It occurred to me, that I´m far more comfortable in reading in English, than writing in it. (This – of course – may also be part of a more profound procrastination strategy I unknowingly developed) But also I´m still shy about posting at all. I feel doubtful about the meaningfulness of releasing my personal thoughts, experiences or words into the foggy unknown public space or I am even frightened to do so. On the other hand I know very well how much writing can teach you to pay attention to yourself, the situation, or the process you are in. As a German native speaker I´m far from free flowing writing in English. I´m even more accustomed to writing in Russian then in English.
Never listen to people who try to make beginners feel like losers. I read in somebody else´s blogpost not too long ago and maybe it´s worth adding (at least for me and the new year) Never make yourself feel like a loser, because you are a beginner. Entering a new area of knowledge makes you feel somehow small. You lack orientation, and where ever you start researching, you discover more and more things you don´t know yet and are in serious danger to get lost or to give up. That´s at least what I felt the last weeks. It made me think about efficiency. Missing the usual satisfaction resulting from the accomplished results of the day in your professional life, I found it hard to sense a progress. Or even to know whether I was on the right path. To distinguish between helpful curiosity and helpless distraction.
But there were other experiences as well. One day I went to the Wikimedia Germany office nearby to get some in person help with setting up my developers environment. I spent about four hours with a trained software engineer, but we could not get it running. So we failed in terms of the assigned task. But I learned such a lot of new stuff, gained so many insights during the process of trouble shooting, that you might even say I learned a lot more because we couldn´t just solve the problem quickly.
In German there is an expression: Umwege erhöhen die Ortskenntnis. meaning s.th. like: Detours let you know the place better.
I try to keep this in mind. As long as I found myself bothered, impatient, that things are not going as fast as I want them to, I will try remind myself of taking a look out of the window and enjoying the surrounding I might not have noticed otherwise. I embrace it as my learning mode of working.
By the way, this subject matter seemed to worry not only me, but most of my co-interns as well. This was easy to observe by the mails changed and the post published in the first weeks. So what?