Learn It, Make It

April 11, 2010
With so many resources available at the click of a mouse, you can find out how to do just about anything through the Internet. However, it doesn’t replace classic trial and error, and with so many different resources and tools, it’s up to you to determine what’s credible, pertinent, and useful. Many of you already know this, but I want to encourage those of you who haven’t reaped the benefits. If you put your mind to it, you can make something you never thought possible.

So many things, so little time

While there are probably many things you may want to learn, understandably, you likely don’t have enough time to learn them. Simply ask yourself what it is you really want to do or build. Of course, it’s good to keep things practical and in perspective. A nuclear powered house or a jet plane are probably out of reach in terms of time, budget, and legal issues.

Possibilities are endless in the digital realm

If you have a computer, making digital content of multiple types has never been so easy, and it should only get easier. With the freeware (and inexpensive software) that’s available today, the possibilities are virtually endless. You could:
  • develop a website
  • compose music
  • make a cartoon
  • develop a game
  • make a comic book
  • make a movie
Now, you may wonder how you could actually make something professionally done without elaborate software and hardware. … You can, as long as you discipline yourself and simply practice. It’s all about craft. Keep things simple if you don’t want to be inundated with work. The more time you spend doing something, after learning how to do it, the better it will look. You can also look at examples around you and make comparisons.

When something isn’t clearly spelled out, do a quick search

Don’t let something you read, or a term you encounter, get the best of you. If you come across a word or phrase you don’t quite understand, look it up and find out what it means. Some documentation will even tell you to do a quick search! Using “Find on this Page” makes things much quicker.

One day I determined I wanted to run the freely available “homebrew” programs that people make for the Nintendo DS. There were all kinds of terms and phrases I didn’t understand, but I didn’t let that stop me. Now I can read comics from my Nintendo DS with ComicBookDS.

If you don’t start, you’ll never finish

Sometimes it may seem impossible to do something, even when people around you can do it. But if you set modest goals and take a little bit at a time, you’d be surprised what you can learn to do. If you know nothing about making a website, then making a website is a huge goal. If you make a single web page, you’ll learn how to make a website and then grow from there.