The first adage they teach writers is to "write what you know." I think this is a good rule for most people. When you need to figure out what path to start down, work with what you know and go from there. It's what I try to tell my college age daughters when they look at the plethora of options out there, jobs which didn't even exist a couple years ago and will be obsolete by the time they graduate, and wonder what choices to make now.
Write what you know. So, in an effort to figure out what I should write, I decided to catalogue what I'm an expert at.
I'm an expert at:
- Putting things off that I don't want to do. I succeeded in putting off ironing until we grew out of everything in the basket. I am the epitome of expert on this topic.
- Asking, 'What's up with that, God?” I'm really good at objecting when I don't get my way. There's got to be a market for that.
- Losing things. I can misplace glasses, keys, phone numbers, or pens that I had in my hand nanoseconds ago. I once lost an entire parking lot. Beat that.
- Not getting the words out quite right. It's been a family joke since the day a year into our marriage when I enthusiastically told friends, “I love my husband. Next to him, I look good!” (It was supposed to be a compliment.) That was the first of many. Writers can edit. Talkers can't.
- Hoarding craft items. If necessary, I could run the vacation Bible school craft room for an entire small country. This is what comes of twelve years in 4H. If anyone buries me with all my belongings like an Egyptian, future generations of archaeologists will scratch their heads over 55 empty pill bottles, six Chinese tale-out cartons (not used), and twenty rusty jingle bells. That's just the first layer.
- Not having any idea what people are talking about when they discuss a TV show that aired in the last twenty years. Except Gilmore Girls and Monk. Oh, and The Magic School Bus. But really, what else has been worth my time?
- Saying “Why not?” I'd rather say yes to an idea than no. Sometimes it backfires. Often it makes a huge mess in the driveway. But I think the misses (and messes) are worth the hits.
Not sure yet how this is going to shape into an article or a book. But at least I know my strengths.
What are you an expert at?