The speed of forgetting depends on a number of factors such as the difficulty of the learned material (e.g. how meaningful it is), its representation and physiological factors such as stress and sleep. Furthermore higher original learning also reduces forgetting. The rate differs little between individuals.
Our brain forgets quickly newly learned information. Spaced repetitions are the most effective approach to internalize.
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I made a real specific decision when I came out of school and most artists were writing about home - if you were a woman, you were writing about being a woman - and I decided not to do that, write about what you know. That's not what I do. I went as far away from home as possible in terms of the development of my imagination.