a blog for whatever crosses my teeny tiny mind
How do you know when you’ve hit competence? Is it when you receive a certificate?
To whomever it may concern, Jessica Aspen has reached competency in this subject. Signed, the Dean of the Official School of Competency
The other night, while walking around the track with my husband, I had a moment of clarity. Perhaps epiphany is a better word. Or shall we use the “Ah-ha moment”? Either way it happened. I was walking around the track after my stint on the elliptical and I realized I felt good. Not just, oh thank God I’m off of that thing good, but a true down deep feeling of satisfaction. And competence. I actually felt good at what I was doing. Just walking at a good pace, around the track. I’d had a very good session on the elliptical, pushed myself a little, and now I was ready to take on the weights. And it felt exceptionally good. Usually I feel like I’m finished and I could skip the weights. I don’t. I just slog through and get to the “Ah” moment of the hot tub. Then I am simply exhausted. But on Thursday night I was empowered. And this is coming through in my writing. Actually my editing. Currently I’m plotting and editing and not truly writing. Editing does take a certain amount of writing, and in this case I did add on several pages to my story, but it’s mostly a state of fiddling. Anyway, I had a great day Thursday and I realized, walking around the track, that I have reached competence. Margie Lawson at the Lawson Writer’s Academy teaches about the stages of mastering a skill.
Unconscious Incompetence: The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. The individual must recognize their own incompetence and the value of the new skill before moving on to the next stage.
Conscious Incompetence: Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit.
Conscious Competence: The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.
Unconscious Competence: The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become ‘second nature’ and can be performed easily.
I’ve been stuck at concious competence, and while I can’t say that I’ve reached the fifth step, actual mastery, I am at the stage where writing and self-editing have become comfortable. I don’t think too hard about what I’m doing as I go through the process of self-editing my pages. And it hit me Thursday night. I am competent! A year ago I wouldn’t have said that, even if I thought I’d reached this stage. I think part of reaching this level of competence is knowing you have the right to say it. The confidence to admit to competence. It’s not a false claim. I’m not claiming mastery or perfection. And my editor at Passion in Print Presswill tell you that I’m still struggling with the serial comma. But competence does not mean perfection. It doesn’t mean mastery. It means an adequate possession of a skill. And I’m there. And it feels good. No, it feels great!
Do I have a long way to go? Yes, but I finally feel ready to move on to the next level of Margie’s classes. Many of my class mates from Woo Hoo U have taken Margie’s advanced classes, and I have felt unready. I have felt like I needed to just practice, practice, practice. But I think, no I know, that I’m ready. Competence feels great! I highly recommend it. Tell me, have you every reached this stage of mastering a skill? Have you ever had that “Ah-ha” moment of clarity that you can do this. How did you feel when it happened? Leave me a comment and don’t forget that you can get another entry every time you leave a comment in my Little Red Riding Wolf contest. Enter or register your comments HERE at the rafflecopter plugin on Paranormal Freebies. And you can get another entry by commenting today at Paranormal Muse, so come on by!