Earlier this evening, I had started another blog post that was supposed to go up tonight.
But then I fed the pets for a second time and I washed dishes for the second time, and while doing that I knew I’d be writing a blog post for the second time. I drew the line at cleaning the litter box for a second time (grin).
I think I need some more time to sit with that post, especially since when I was going through my seconds tonight, I had a strange thought that related to the first post I was working on. That thought was:
Learning is not studying.
I had to go check on the definitions because I could suddenly see a vast chasm between learning and studying. Here’s the definitions per Oxford Language:
Learn: gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.
Study: the devotion of time and attention to acquiring knowledge on an academic subject, especially by means of books. Also: a detailed investigation and analysis of a subject or situation.
On the outside, they look very similar. They both speak to acquiring knowledge. But “study” is a different level than “learn.” Study incorporates with it a “devotion of time and attention.” Why is that significant? Why is my mind spitting that out to me tonight? Both of those are questions I must ask myself.
Possibly because today I really learned how to study. I was valedictorian of my class. Doesn’t that mean that I already know how to study? No. It showed I knew how to learn. I could always find knowledge I was looking for. I could read and retain for the short period of time needed to keep information for a test. But I had never applied myself to honest study. Until recently when I decided I really wanted to work on my craft and become a better storyteller.
And I knew I wasn’t getting it.
Oh, I could learn. I was shown how to write better endings and I got it. I feel that the endings of my books are much better than they were.
I knew things inside of me had been changing. I knew I was different. I will get into more of this if I still want to continue with that first blog post I’d been writing. And, I knew I was stuck. Part of my lamenting late last year and earlier this year was me trying to get free of it and not knowing what I was doing wrong.
Today, I actually discovered the difference between learning and studying. I experienced it. And I saw the various stages of beginners, those in the middle, and those further down the road than me, and the masters.
A detailed analysis of a situation, something which takes time and attention. That is what makes studying different.
Strangely, I feel absolutely calm now. Earlier tonight, I felt changed and excited, and perhaps a bit of optimism that one has when they are a beginner and have good luck at accomplishing a goal they have set out toward. Yes, I guess I had my own experience of being a beginner at studying today. Maybe if I publish the post I started earlier, I will find forgiveness for that overzealous exuberance I felt while writing it. It’s obviously the words of a beginner.