I did a search of this forum but didn't really find what I was looking for on this subject (I'm notorious for creating bad searches though.) I’m wondering how often some of you practice technique. I ask this question in relation to cake decorating, especially stringwork in royal icing, but really it applies to much of cooking and most anything else in life I think. I’m finding that I don’t do well practicing a skill or technique. I practice in as much that I’m learning to do the technique, but I feel I’m more of an “apprentice-style” learner than a “rote” learner, though of course there is something to rote practice. What I mean is that I do a technique once I’m working on a “real” project, and that I then spend the time to get it right on that piece of work, rather than perfecting the technique and then using when I happen to get an order that requires it. I’m sure it has more to do with the individual than with whether one style of learning is better than the other, but perhaps some of you tend to work one way and changed for one reason or another? I do try to practice, but I get bored or forget to even try. I’ve tried doing “practice projects” thinking that would give me some focus, but it’s not “real” so I still get off track or let it fall to the side. I guess I’ve always been this way; I didn’t leave my homework until the last minute in high school because I was lazy, but because I like to work when the inspiration strikes, and then I’m quite into my work. In fact I often did my homework right away in school when the project was interesting to me! Inspiration still finds me up eagerly at 4:30 a.m. and working until the next morning, or not even starting until “the 11th hour” because I couldn’t focus or the eureka moment hadn’t happened yet. What do some of you do? Do you set up a schedule, create a practice project? Or just hunker down and trace that line out a thousand times until it looks right? I appreciate your insights and experience!