I’m at my best when I write every day. (I can’t really define what I mean by “my best,” but I know that’s the right feeling to go with.) And yet, I get into periods where I write every day. Then I write every other day. Then a couple times a week. And then there will be a period of nothing at all.
I’ve always treated writing as a means to an end. And I’m realized that that’s not the right idea–not for me, at least. For some folks who have a job writing, or are writing in order to accomplish something, it’s probably not a bad idea to approach the craft that way. And in some cases, it’s probably a wise idea. In my case, I can’t afford to treat writing as simply a tool.
I’m not someone with a lot of “hard skills.” I know that. I embrace that.
I’ve tried to learn a few different coding languages. I always find myself apathetic. The closest thing I know is HTML and CSS, and I’m far from an expert. I could probably fix something if there’s a basic error, but that’s really it. I’m not building flashy web pages from scratch. And I’m okay with that. I started a Udemy course on web development, but got bored about half way through the CSS portion.
I’ve tried to learn other languages. I have a basic enough grasp on Esperanto–at least writing and reading it–but that’s not an in-demand language and it’s not one I regularly practice. I’m trying to re-learn (and build on) the Spanish I learned in school. I’m not sure if it’ll go anywhere, but I like to poke around in the basics of languages. It’s interesting to see the nuts and bolts of communication.
I’m not a data expert, either. I like digging into stats and seeing what I can personally interpret from them, but the high-level analysis that often goes with all of that in the business world doesn’t do much for me. I like to keep things as simple as possible and not overthink numbers.
On top of that: I’m not a law expert (I nearly went to law school, but I dodged that bullet), I know little about finances, and I lack certain qualifications that would set me up for success in a warehouse role (most notably: I don’t have a driver’s license–and I don’t really want one).
So, when I break myself down, I feel like there are a lot of things I’m either not good at or I’m uninterested in. But there are skills I have:
I’ve been told I’m great with people. I don’t consider myself a “people person” and I probably never will. But I meet a lot of folks at my current job. Sometimes, they’re customers just passing through. Sometimes, they’re reps for a company whose product we sell. And sometimes, they’re an important person from some other company/organization. And about once or twice a week, one of those people tell me “You seem way too overqualified for this” and then follow it up with either “you should be working for a startup or something” or “what are you doing here?”
I can’t really give a good response to either of those comments. Sure, if I had found a love/knack for coding, I’d probably be able to get myself into a cozy role in an office. If I hadn’t gotten a political science degree and instead opted for marketing, business, advertising, or something along those lines, I may be in a different role already. But none of that applies to me because it didn’t happen.
I have other soft skills. I’m happy with my ability to think of ideas (no matter how strange they can be). I’m good at thinking of a view opposite my own. I’m punctual. I work hard. I communicate well. And I love to learn new things, especially when I can apply them at work.
But the one thing I always come back to is writing. Writing about what? I don’t know. Everything, I suppose. I’ve tried my hand at fiction writing, video game reviewing, life writing, ebook writing. And I’m okay jumping all over the place (I don’t want to do fiction again, though). Because when I put words on a page, I feel good. And it may not be something that leads to something, but if I can feel good from writing, I don’t consider that a bad thing.
This long, rambling, not-too-terribly-focused post is my way of saying that I’m trying to get myself to write again daily. Really writing, not just jotting down a few words and calling it a day. I don’t know if I’ll stick with it, but I’m going to give it a shot. Every day, I’m going to write something, with a goal of about 500 words. Even if it’s just 500 words of mindless thoughts or a description of my bus ride home after work, I’m going to write something. Perhaps it won’t be something I like enough worth putting on here. Maybe it’s something that’s a better fit elsewhere. But it’l be something.
Maybe this writing will lead to other opportunities. Maybe it won’t. But it’s my favorite of my skills and attempted skills. There’s no good reason not to do it.