I didn’t think there was any value in repetition. I remember as a 5 or 6 year old wondering what the point of it was, particularly when some adult insisted on doing some over and over again, like memorising and reciting poetry, or copy-writing.
I’d never considered how much I loathed repetition for certain things, and how ‘in the flow’ I felt when doing other things repetitively. My conscious observation of what I found myself doing repeatedly may have been when I took up calligraphy again about 5 years ago, and the first task I did this time round was the oval drills. I found pdf versions of historical books on beautiful handwriting on the wonderful iampeth site, & most of them insisted on the importance of the repetitive exercises.
Whether it has been learning to fingerpick the guitar or learn a new task, deliberate practice and repetition is the only thing that gives me the confidence that I can do it fluently. It isn’t easy, and it often isn’t fun while I struggle with it.
I’m a beginner yet again, this time learning Ornamental Penmanship, aka Spencerian. The beginner mindset is what I have to keep remembering to be in, not to judge my current foundational letterforms, to keep repeatedly doing them until the picture in my mind’s eye and the physical form that I am able to write resemble each other closely. And in the meanwhile, publish whatever I can produce here to keep myself on track.
Here’s some of today’s effort, ovals and a few shades.