In my role as Publishing Manager of Finch I do not always have time to edit or proof read most of our books. They are sent to freelancers once I have read through the initial manuscript and decided on a course of action. Does this manuscript need rewriting or is it fine to send straight to an editor? Does it need trimming for length or expanding some sections? Is the writing quality good enough? Does the author actually make sense? However, sometimes I find myself taking in author’s and proof reader corrections and become hooked on a particular idea or theme of a manuscript that wasn’t immediately clear to me before. Such was the case when I was doing some work on a manuscript called Unlocking Your Child’s Genius by Andrew Fuller.
Now, I am no genius! And this book isn’t for genius children either. But in one chapter, which covers the process of having to make difficult decisions, I found myself thinking…wait, this is not just for kids, this is a really invaluable chapter for anyone of any age! As I got further into it, and saw all the underlying processes that go into making decisions, I began to wonder how I had managed to get through my life without this advice. In fact after re-reading the rest of the book I began to wonder how I had made it through life at all!
Another valuable chapter for me was ‘Practising to Improve’, which included information on the art of deliberate practice. This applied mainly to sports, but could be used in any endeavour. Deliberate practice is identifying a skill that needs improvement and working on improving that skill. This sounds quite basic but how many times do you find yourself just doing the things you are good at and kind of ‘forgetting’ or not wanting to practice the things you are not so good at? For me, a lot! In my chosen sport of dressage riding, deliberate practice has become a very big part of my training. It was also fascinating to learn about mirror neurons and the way we can actually improve our own skills just by watching someone else do something. I thought this happened to me only because I was a ‘visual’ learner, but to find out there is actually a process in the brain that ‘mirrors’ activity was amazing. (Maybe everyone already knew this…but I didn’t.)
All in all I felt somewhat humbled by also invigorated by reading this book for ‘children’. I suppose the biggest lesson of all is that we never stop learning!