Weekly YouTube video thumbnails


In the UK we have two ways of spelling “practice”… I’m 51 and to this day I get them mixed up.

Actually there’s only one way of spelling “practice” but there’s another word (that sounds the same) spelled “practise” and means something… hmm… well, different.

According to Google:

Practice – the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it.
e.g. “the principles and practice of teaching”

On the other hand…

Practise – perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to acquire, improve or maintain proficiency in it.
“I need to practise my French”

So I’ve been practising my practice.

#MadeOnAMobile52 is a challenge I set to myself at the beginning of the year – to produce 52 films – one a week a for a year.
The rules?

  1. Each video had to be at least 30 seconds long
  2. Each video must have multiple edits (not just one shot)
  3. Each video must be shot and edited within that particular week

    The first two rules are easier than the third. I’ve kept to the first two… meh… number three has been stretched by up to 48 hours, generally on holiday weeks where I’m balancing family time with an arbitrary plan. But this IS week 34 of the year and I DO have 34 videos, mostly 2 minutes each.

However, the net result is… practise has improved my practice.


It sounds obvious. Of course it’s obvious, “practise makes perfect”

By definition (see above) practise is: to perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to acquire, improve or maintain proficiency in it.

However, I wanted to share three benefits which I hadn’t anticipated.

  1. I hit the ground running. I can be busy for weeks at a time creating graphics or animations which doesn’t involve shooting. When I finally arrive at a shoot it can take a while to get back into the swing of things – it could have been a month or more since I shot anything. I haven’t had that feeling all year!
  2. Developing new ideas. I quickly got bored of tricks and tropes I had fallen back on regularly and started developing new ones. They were rarely perfect but I now know what I would do differently to develop them for future projects. Shooting vertically is an example of one; creating side by side comparison videos is another.
  3. Ideas come to me more quickly. You’ll have heard of “writers block”. But it’s not just writers. Really what we’re talking about I “ideas block” and it turns out coming up with ideas more regularly exercises the ‘ideas’ muscle in your brain and I find ideas come to me more easily.

I could make a much longer list but what it comes down to is that creative exercise is very bit as beneficial creatively as you would expect physical exercise to be physically. And while physical exercise is also beneficial for mental health, personally, creative exercise is also helpful win that respect. Apart from anything else I’m just more confident in my practice because of practise.

I already have my challenge idea for 2023… so I highly recommend setting yourself some kind of creative challenge – a daily doodle, a weekly sound bite, a monthly podcast – whatever it its, do something that excites you and motivates you and gives you an opportunity to do better. Always do better.

So I’ll leave you with video no34 – this was my Out of office notice last week… a walk up Ben Vrackie in Perthshire.

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