I like watching myself doing things now, and imagining how I did them years or even decades ago; perceiving the effect of gradual experience. The best way to see how far you’ve come is by looking at a child’s progression. Although, as I wrote yesterday, children have something far more precious than we do… the default setting of humanity. As I write this, my little son Timur is sitting beside me. He’s copying words out of his big gruesome book on Mummies. Each word takes him a while, as he does it with attention, and care, forming the letters, and making sure he is getting the spellings right. From time to time, Ariane comes in and laughs at him for doing work that she thinks is easy. She’s only two years older, but in that time she’s grasped it, and has become quite experienced. The same is true with writing, especially journalism. I remember when I wrote my first articles, I didn’t know where to start. I did masses and masses of research, most of which was never needed. I followed leads that were dead ends, and was like Timur writing his words out. I meant very well and was driven by the same enthusiasm as him… but my vision was clouded by a kind of veil. Work at something, really work at it, and the veil lifts. And what’s so wonderful is that you never realise it’s lifting until it’s no longer there. Watch yourself from a distance as you progress, as you become adept, and marvel at it all. Again, I see that with Ariane and Timur, and remind them as often as I can how far they’ve come, and how fast the journey’s been.

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