I’m starting something new this week: I’m going to learn acrylic painting. I draw (mostly ink and markers) and I used to dabble in watercolours, but this will be a new experience.
I expect it to be messy.
Being a beginner at something is both exciting as hell and frustrating as trying to explain superhero retcons to non-fans.* Exciting because: new thing! I will make all the things! And they will be great! Hey, do you think this paint is poisonous? Frustrating because: why does new thing not come out like I imagined? Why am I not great at this right now? I AM GREAT AT EVERYTHING.
It’s probably for the best that Snowman’s working a lot of hours this month.
There’s a great scene in the Engineer Trilogy by K.J. Parker in which one of the main characters, a nobleman in hiding, has to sew something for the first time ever. Because he can’t reveal his ineptitude for fear of being discovered, he can’t ask for help. So he instead looks at the materials and the tools and works out what sewing is from the first principles. It’s a very funny little scene in the middle of what is a near-constant storm of grimness**, and it gives a great look at learning to do something for the first time ever.
We all have to start somewhere with skills. I’ve been learning to code in Python for the last couple of weeks, and, boy, was that eye-opening. And I expect that acrylic painting will be the same.** Writing sure as hell was: a mixture of thrill and frustration, interspersed with moments of brightness and wild inspiration.
Or, if you want a relatively universal example: remember having sex for the first time?***
Monday Challenge, in honour of my upcoming +2 Art Skill: Write about something trying to do something for the very first time. Awkwardness, frustration, wild inspiration, and all.
*”No, see, it’s fine because in this timeline, she’s really that girl’s sister, except they were both exposed to Zorg radiation, which made them think they were the same person….”
** But with less of a possibility of creating a roboctopus army.
***Spoiler alert, virgins: it’s gonna be awkward.