I had the feeling that John was enjoying himself while writing this post, and I’ve certainly enjoyed thinking about it from my end, so I’m blatantly stealing this one. Note that I’ve added one category he doesn’t include, per suggestions from comments. So: my self-perceived skill at various Creative Endeavors, ranked from best to worst:
- Writing. I would hope this would be ranked high on the list, seeing as how I’ve spent most of the last two years working to make “Writer” my eventual day job and not just something I do when I’m not at my day job. I write every single day, even if sometimes it’s not a lot, and of the various creative arts this is the one I work at the hardest.
- Editing. As an educator I’ve done an awful lot of this as well, although I’ve never been paid for it, and while I’m not dumb enough to claim that I’m the only editor my work needs (everything other than blog posts goes through my wife before you see it, and she has been paid to edit before) I think I could make a living as an editor.
- Public Speaking. The top three are pretty close together, actually, and for the most part public speaking actually is what I do for a living. I’m comfortable in front of crowds (although I don’t much like microphones) and talking in front of a roomful of people is not even a thing that I notice I’m doing any longer. I considered ranking this first and then didn’t because I’ve never really addressed a large group of people before. Hundreds, certainly, but never anything larger than a high-three-figures crowd, at elast that I can remember at the moment.
- Video Editing/Directing. Take “directing” with a grain of salt, but I’ve done way more video editing than most people have, and know my way around iMovie enough to know that I can easily handle small-scale video projects. I’m not going to be looking for jobs in Hollywood anytime soon but I could probably capably edit commercials or shorter shows if I wanted to, and we actually shot a half-decent zombie movie with my students a few years ago.
- Cooking. This could potentially be ranked at #4 except for the part where no one’s ever paid me to do it. I’m well aware of my deficiencies as a chef, chief among them being that I can’t just walk into a kitchen and look around to see what’s there and come up with a meal yet. But if you give me instructions and maybe a few minutes of backup here and there I can produce a variety of good meals without setting the house on fire.
- Acting. We’re getting into the “not good at this” end of the scale, but every teacher has at least some minor chops as an actor. You have to, especially at the younger ages, to do the job well. Have I ever acted on stage? No, not since fourth grade. But I’m pretty sure if I did I wouldn’t be the worst one up there. Not a high bar to clear, I’m aware.
- Singing. I sing. A lot. But mostly when no one else is around. I was always willing to grab the microphone during Rock Band parties back when that was a thing and I don’t remember people complaining. But if I get outside my rather carefully defined vocal range things can get scary quickly. That said, I have been complemented on my singing by people who did not have to bring it up and did not appear to be kidding, so at least occasionally I can do it passably well.
- Photography. This is the last of the “I don’t suck at this” categories. I can take a competent picture if I have a competent camera, and there are enough examples of my photography on this site for folks to tell me if I’m wrong. But I’m not a photographer and I would never dare to say I was.
- Drawing/Painting. Talentless. I can sketch a quick diagram for a math lesson, but that’s going to to be about it. The only 2D artform I have any talent in at all is desktop layout, and I don’t think that counts enough on its own to be a category. I cannot draw and I haven’t tried to paint since high school.
- Playing Musical Instruments. Ranked very low because I have tried to be good at this and still failed. There are few things that I can say that about. I would love to be able to play guitar or piano or ukulele. I can do none of those things, and at this point I will almost certainly never be able to.
- Dancing. I am fat, slow, uncoordinated, out of shape, old, and white. So. No. Not only can I not dance, at this point in my life I refuse to even try.
What about you? What are you best at on this list? I’d kinda love for this to turn into a bit of a meme for a little while.