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Hitting the Books

One of my crippling fears about working as a television producer is not having a tangible skill set. While I may be comfortable with the different aspects of scheduling, budgeting, research, and project management, I worry about not having the level of skills that future jobs may require.

Then, I wonder about why I’m worrying. I know part of the worry comes from the uncertainty of our industry, of freelance jobs that end after two months, two weeks, or (my personal record!) two and a half days. That worry (mixed with curiosity) led me to get my MBA. In many ways, being able to define your skill set makes the idea of finding the next job seem more palatable, and more doable. As a counterpoint, though, what sort of work do I really want to focus on? What are these mystical “future jobs”?

Ultimately, I don’t know the answer. What I do know is that I like to produce things, and write words, engage people, and delight them.

So, to that end, I am cracking open the books this summer, and exploring new avenues to create those kinds of stories. On my desk are three books that’ll help me access the tools to better realize those dreams: Adobe Animate (for animating Monstrous Me artwork), Adobe After Affects (for enhancing those animations), and Adobe InDesign (for laying out this book, and subsequent short-form projects).

Together, these books have 39 lessons. Over the next 10 weeks, I’ll take on 4 lessons a week, allowing for a mix of structured learning and enough free time to practice. By mid-August (when my summer ends), I should have accumulated enough time and skills to confidently declare myself to be… a great beginner.

And if the goal is to become a great beginner, then I’ve got to start beginning.