July 5, 2014 by synapticwolf
Learning a craft is very much like learning a language. (Spinning can be learned as a craft, an art, or a sport. More on the art and sport of spin at a later date.) When I study a craft, I learn the different moves, drill them until they are recognizable and then start beginning to combine them.
The magic occurs during the combining process.
When I travel to a non-English speaking country, the first thing I do is learn about 10 words – but words which I can endlessly combine. Essential new-language vocabulary:
[name of language]
I am learning to speak [name of language].
I (do not) understand you.
I enjoy to play with words.
Please speak to me in [name of language].
The useful stuff isn’t the words themselves – it’s when we throw the words together and start communicating that our drilling begins to pay off. Flow is when we can fluently bounce between words, change up the grammar at will, and make ourselves understood – all without thinking about the individual words. When we practice spinning, it’s important to nail the individual moves. But discrete units of cool stuff we can do with our sticks/balls/strings only become accessible to our craft when we can stitch a whole bunch of them together in order to create something coherent.