Recently I pitched to a friend collaborating on developing a game. I’d tried convincing my sister to work with me on it, to no avail, but it looks like the friend is interested. Originally, I’d envisioned my sister doing the graphics because she’s a kick-ass artist and I’d do the programming because unlike my sister, I can program my way out of a box. When I mentioned this to the friend, he was taken aback, stating “I would’ve thought you’d needed help with the programming”. I was like, well, yeah, that’s what you’d be doing because, honestly, he can barely draw a box but at the same time I’m going “Uh…I do know how to program.”
The problem is that I get pigeon-holed. It happens to everyone, but I’m getting so sick and tired of it. People attach labels to other people and fail to see them as capable of anything outside of that label. I’m an artist so I can only do art. I’m a writer, so surely all I do is write. The thing is these are just skills, and more skills can be learned on top of them and, well, I love to learn. I get bored having only one skill and knowing how to do only this one thing. I’m not alone. People have hobbies that don’t fall immediately into their primary skill-set, or they take classes, read about things they didn’t know how to do before. We’re curious critters, us Homo sapiens. It’s called personal growth, and smart people strive to do it on a regular basis.
Just because I want to be a writer, doesn’t mean that’s all I can do. If anything being a writer means I need to know how to do more. I’m also an artist, a programmer, a gamer, a singer, a knitter, a crocheter, a baker, a philosopher, a chef, an anthropologist, a student, a friend, a bonafide DIY-er…the list goes on. These are things I do, they aren’t who I am. They don’t define me. And just because these are the things I do now does not mean I cannot and will not do so much more.