People often ask me where I find the time to make all the YouTube videos. Well, it’s a combination of giving up other activities, like reading or watching television, not sleeping and practice. I love the title of this blog, ‘Practice Makes Perfec’ for 3 reasons:
- Elijah can say ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ in German!
- It’s so true.
- Well done, you spotted it – it’s no mistake, the ‘t’ is missing for a good reason.
Before I go into a bit more depth on each of these, let’s cover off the sleeping and free time parts.
We all like to put our feet up after a long, hard day of kids, work, cooking, cleaning and the general busy-ness of life. I’ve been doing it for years now (about 29, no I’m not 29 … since I was 18)(I’m 47), so I know how to zonk and do nothing. Turn on the T.V. or, more recently, the iPad. With Netflix, YouTube and our beloved apps, it’s hard to resist choosing to be entertained and letting time pass. But it’s only by giving up these things and redirecting that time into Elijah and Crumpet that I am able to keep up the content creation.
Next sleep, or lack of it. Luckily I have always been high energy and able to operate with less sleep. Now, I know that it’s healthier to have 8 hours of sleep (I hear it a lot from my wife), but if I can get by with less, I get more done. So I sacrifice 2 of those 8 hours, use the time to create something which will last forever, and hope that I don’t get woken up by kids or cats in the night!
Now the 3 reasons in more detail:
Yes, Elijah can say Practice Makes Perfect in German – you’ll hear it on some of our videos when Elijah is demonstrating his language skills! It started when I thought I would see if he could remember another language. I had studied languages at university, so I believed that if Elijah could learn to speak English, he should be able to speak a second language. I wanted to test my belief because I did not know if having a learning disability would cause some ‘switching languages link’ in the brain to be missing (no, you don’t get any correct medical terminology from a languages graduate!)
Well, he was happy saying the phrase and then, days later when I asked him, he remembered it. In case you are now intrigued, it’s ‘Ubung macht den Meister’ (no umlauts (two dots) as I don’t have a German keyboard) which literally translates as ‘Practice makes the Master’. This became Elijah’s amazing memory party piece and opened the door to bigger goals.
And so it is with our YouTube video journey. In the picture you can see our early videos. I took the advice from a ‘How to get started on YouTube’ video … and we just started. We put the hours in (Elijah for the filming hour and me for the other 6 hours of editing) and pushed out videos from 4 September 2018, reaching 70 before the year was out. Then another push to make sure we had over 100 before we got on Channel Nine’s The Today Show. I went from zero experience on video editing using Adobe Premier Pro to ‘not bad’ (according to Thomas, our other son) so I’ll take that as a compliment! Trial and error, frustration with forgetting how to fix the problem I fixed last time it happened, losing all my work because I forgot to save and the blasted thing crashes … all of these. But over time, my speed improved and I got back some sleep. Perfec!
Nice segway – if you have watched our earlier videos, you will have seen the sign on the wall behind us saying ‘Practice Makes Perfec’ . The idea of the sign came from watching other YouTubers, with their inspirational quotes on the walls behind. Originally it said the correct ‘Practice Makes Perfect’, but one day I printed it off with an error to have fun with Elijah, to see if he spotted it. In the video you see he does, so it made for good filming.
But then the phrase took on another meaning, as in most things, we aim for perfection, but never really get there. That could be work, relationships, our garden, hobby or meal. There is always room for improvement, so the missing ‘t’ symbolises just that. We need to be happy just getting to where we get to, with what we have achieved through our hard work, not worried about what we have not done.
The idea then spread to the world we entered when Elijah joined us – the world of disability. We experienced first hand the challenges that are present in society, which is unfortunately still struggling to get past the ‘f’ on its journey to being ‘Perfec’. The thought that ‘nobody is perfect’ is secondary in most marketing and advertising strategies. It’s all about the perfect life, perfect house, perfect physical and mental health (although thankfully we are finally more open about mental health issues). To be accepted and valued with a disability, what does that look like? How does society value people it considers ‘not perfect’? It’s a debate unto itself which I will undoubtedly discuss further in later blogs. For now, keep practising at whatever you are doing and Elijah, what’s Practice makes Perfect in German? (Elijah:) “Ubung macht den Meister!” Thanks for joining us 🙂 Rob