how to git gud (or: How To Accomplish Literally Anything)

git gud

git gud.

A concept that I both love and hate that comes from one Mr. Sean McCabe is the idea of “Show Up Every Day for Two Years”.

Simply to say that to anyone provides a filter to tell you how much someone cares about something. The message is applicable to anyone in any circumstance where your efforts have to be sustained and consistent over a period of time in order to se the results you want out of a pursuit.

To illustrate git gud, please consider a character I have managed to draw annually by accident over the course of 8 years, Sophie. (there’s text after the pictures, don’t forget to read it)

2013

git gud 2013

2015

git gud 2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021 (early)

git gud 2021

2021 (late)

How long does it take to git gud?

That’s a sensible question to ask, and I don’t blame you for wondering that.

It can be easy to gloss over the fact that accomplishing anything meaningful takes a lot of sustained time and effort. As it stands, I’ve been drawing for 11 years and I’m still not really in the spot that I’d like to be.

Part of that is because of a lack fo clear goals, and part of that is because of a lack of enough sustained effort.

Choose concrete things to git gud at.

You have to know where you wanna go. There’s a hard success metric for literally anything you want to do.

Do you want to speed run games? Cool. Which ones do you want to play, how do you want to define your finish, how deep do you want to understand a game?

Do you want to be fitter or lift more? Cool. What do you want your physique to look like, what kind of exercises will sculpt your body the way you like, just how much weight do you want to be able to lift?

Do you want to make the world better? Cool. What way in which do you want to improve the world, what knowledge and effort does that require, and how are you going to concretely accomplish that in a manner that you yourself can achieve?

Commit to git gud.

Because it is a commitment.

You will not git gud instantly, whatever it is you chose to git gud at will likely or definitely take persistent effort over a long span of time.

Concentrated effort will git you gud faster. But whether you get your mileage in all at once, or have to span it out, you will only git gud with consistency over time, whether it is lifting, crafting, or doing any kind of work of meaningful change.

There are nine pictures in the timeline I presented above, and those nine pictures don’t include the time of study, critical analysis, and practice involved in producing pictures of any reasonable degree of aesthetic value. More painful yet, these pictures only represent a practice of the discipline of character drawing. This is without any meaningful practice of the art of environmental drawing, whether small or great, indoor or outdoor. I may have a whole other set of years that I have to spend on the art of drawing places to put people and things in.

And I’m okay with that. And you ought to be okay with it too.

If you care enough to spend two years to git gud, you’ll be okay for the really long run.

When Sean talks about “Show Up Every Day for Two Years”, he often qualifies that statement. It’s not that two years of daily sustained effort magically grant you everything that you want, it’s that being able to be tenacious for two years will help you understand how to be tenacious for as long as you need to be for whatever you need.

It also serves as a filter. If you just can’t flat stand the idea of doing something for all two of those years, you’ll have learned that you should probably do something else, and you’ll have whatever practice you already did as a new component of your foundation as a person, professional, or craftsman.

Honestly to git gud at anything, you just have to care enough to keep doing it. That’s honestly all it is. And the more you work, the more you try, the better you get.

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