I would say that most people who know me, know that I have a lot of … interests. When I’m asked about my hobbies, my short response is that my hobby is hobbies.
I come from a crafting family, I grew up with a broad interest in the sciences, I read a lot of science fiction, and I watched a lot of (what would now be called) genre TV. In college I had a hard time deciding on a major and so graduated with two degrees and a huge overload of units. Since then I’ve filled my home and workshop (to Harriet’s distress) with a wide range of tools, collections, books, and supplies reflecting 56 years of quick study and short attention span.
I don’t necessarily think this is admirable, and I wouldn’t advocate this lifestyle. But I’ve come to realize that most folks I know are unaware of the crazy range of my interests. I don’t talk about them very much. Not because I’m embarrassed by them (although I do see Harriet cringe from time to time), but because I think most would be bored by them.
As a separate issue, in the last couple of years I’ve become increasingly frustrated with my writing ability. I write a lot of technical material for my work: manuals, papers, and training materials. They are dense, factual, and tend to be written for others who already have a basic knowledge of my field. I find it time consuming, grueling, and just not fun. I would like to be a better writer, which includes being faster, clearer, more casual, and just..more. I would like to have fun writing.
In the last month it’s finally occurred to me that I can use this blog to deal with both issues at the same time (see how I avoided the overused two birds with one stone metaphor) (oh wait – did I just forfeit my clever moment by pointing it out?). I can just write about whatever project I’m working on, whatever conference I happen to attend, or whatever happens to catch my eye. I’m not trying to capture eyeballs, pontificate to an audience, polish my resume, or create a portfolio. I just need to practice my writing.
So, here’s my new year’s resolution for 2013. I’m going to write in this blog more often. My goal is an entry a day, but I don’t think I’ll be able to sustain that. I’ll start out with good intentions, and probably keep up the entries for a few weeks, but I know me and how my interests wax and wane. I’ll start dropping a day now again and feeling guilty. Then it all becomes an obligation and a burden. So I’ll leave the resolution as a vague “write in the blog more often”.
There, the first entry has been made.
P.S. I meant to make a list of hobbies, avocations, and interests I’ve had over the years. Here’s what I can think of right now: improv, wood-turning, collecting comic books, costuming (cosplay), cheese-making, role playing games (D&D), collecting art, beekeeping, molecular gastronomy (modernist cuisine), knitting, watchmaking/clock repair, collecting slide rules, science fiction, knife-making, robotics, embroidery, video games, board games, live action role playing (LARP), drawing comics, collecting bookmarks, constructed languages (conlang), armoring, game development, health and fitness, kinetic art, metalworking, puppetry and puppet making, tatting, gardening, and geek culture (which I will use to cover a wide range of genre franchises – Star Wars, Star Trek, Buffy, Firefly, Fringe, Lord of the Rings, Supernatural, Warehouse 13, Lost Girl, Harry Potter, superhero movies, Steampunk, and a bunch of others that are even more obscure). I’m sure there are others, but I’m falling into my embarrassed place, so I’ll let them come up in my future posts. As you cans see, there won’t be a lack of topics for future posts.