Preface: I know I should be saving money, but I have talked about learning Flash for about 3 month, and I figured if I was really going to go through with it, I would need a proper machine to do so. So. I bought a Mac.
Now with that out of the way, I am learning Flash. Slowly… very slowly … but surely. After about an hour in a Barnes and Noble* looking through Flash instructional books, I finally found one I really meshed with. So I bought it**.
Point: It’s very important to remember the first step you learn. Like when first learning to walk—your first step changed your life. It allowed you to take another step. And after the first few, you became confident enough to continue walking, then walking slowly led to running (with a bit of falling), then maybe some jumping and a bit of dancing, etc. But that first step was pivotal. The same, I learned the hard way today***, is true when learning a new program.
Lesson 1, Step 1- “Choose File > Save As; the Save As dialog box appears. In the Name text field, type <name> and press Save.
It really couldn’t have been stated any simpler. But did I do it? No.
So when that beautiful message “Flash has experienced a problem. It will now close” popped up, I instantly lost about an hour and 20 minutes worth of work. This also prompted multiple feelings of frustration, sadness, anger and an unnatural urge to throw my mouse across the room. Instead, I took a few deep breaths****, and then I cleaned my bathroom and kitchen.
On my second attempt, I saved. Immediately. Thrice. Just to make sure. And then I realized that my failure to save was actually one of the best lessons I could have had. During the second attempt, I reduced my work time by about 50%. The first time around I’d make mistakes and redo work, only to wonder “why didn’t I do that the first time?” So luckily, these all became the ‘first times,’ on the second time.
And I realized that life is like this far too often. Yeah, we do things that are reaaaallly stupid sometimes, and sometimes we lose everything. But if you can learn from it, do it better the next time around, then you’ve made some progress.
Just remember, save.
*I feel a little bad as I didn’t actually buy it from here, but instead just previewed and looked them up on amazon. The mark-up on books is somewhat absurd.
** I eventually bought it at another bookstore, with a coupon, at the same price I would have paid for it online.
***”Today” was actually on 1/31/10. Internet has been ordered. (and installed!!!)
**** I did a fair 5 minutes of whining to the air.