Keeping Perspective

I don’t have a whole ton of time to blog today, but I wanted to jot down a quick thought that’s been kicking through my head. In a nutshell, it’s a basic observation of how important it is to remember that the things you are familiar with and good at aren’t universal to everyone. For example, I have written many books by now. Writing a book, for me, is in no way an insurmountable task. It’s gotten to the point where it’s just another thing that I do, much the same as library work, or organizing a pantry, or installing a new A/V system for my home theater.

I try to remember that when I’m talking to other people who are working on writing their first book, or who dream about just writing anything at all. For me, rattling off 1,000 words writing about a topic isn’t something that’s terribly difficult to do either. After all these years of blogging, the bigger trick is often coming up with something to write about, rather than just having enough to write about whatever it is. (I mean, come on. I’ve been able to come up with blog posts about the best fruits out there. And then I did a specific post just about bananas. You give me a topic, and I can talk about it for about as long as you want. Probably longer, to be honest.)

So it’s okay if I come up to some sort of problem that just leaves my head whirling. If I were to try to fix a broken engine, I would be so far out of my depth I wouldn’t know where to begin. “It doesn’t start” would be about as far as I got. Figuring out how to garden well? Landscape a yard? Make a cosplay costume? There are a ton of things that are outside my skill set.

Sometimes it can be tempting to put more value in the things you do well than in the things other people do well. As if the things you’ve specialized in are somehow of greater intrinsic worth than the things you chose not to specialize in. And I suppose that might be natural. After all, you thought they were worthwhile enough to specialize in them, right? But just because you think engineering is the bee’s knees doesn’t mean it’s going to be worth a whole lot to you when your television breaks and you have no idea how to fix it.

Where are these thoughts going? Nowhere, really, other than to say it’s important to remember that the things that are easy for you (relatively speaking) can be very difficult for other people. Not because you’re awesome and they aren’t, but because you’ve spent a whole lot of time on them and they haven’t. And I guess that’s all the time I’ve got to think today.


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