So TAFE went back officially last week. I was all excited by one of my units, and significantly less excited by the other. I’m sure the excitement will come, but for now, I’m just reminding myself that learning new skills is usually good. I decided it would be easier to remember if I made a special graphic — it’s good to procrastinate with Word Swag.
Which brings me to today (learning, not procrastination).
My less-than-exciting first assignment for the semester involves deciding an area of interest which I could write about for the purpose of publication. (In a magazine or newspaper.) For someone who has managed to write at least one ‘article’ a week on this here blog for the last four and a half years, you would think that would be an easy task. I certainly did.
However it turns out that asking me what I’m interested in, is akin to asking me how my week has been; I’m going to look at you blankly and then say something pointless like, ‘I got lots of washing done.’ #truestory I don’t do well with simple questions. They stump me.
Unfortunately, I don’t think an article on my abilities to put clothes in a machine and then hang them out, is quite what my lecturer is looking for.
Of course, the more I thought about it, the more I overthought about it, until I was almost hyperventilating with the anxiety of not having any interests at all, or writing talent, or possibility of a future that was not defined by, ‘well, I got lots of washing done…’ It was all very midday TV movie like.
Thankfully (or perhaps not), it appears I am not the first person to have a dilemma defining where my interests lie, and so the lovely TAFE people put some prompts in the course workbook, to help all the panicking students out. Being nothing but a diligent student, I took to the questions with great enthusiasm, jotting down my answers on a very official looking piece of scrap paper, with a light blue pen, determined to discover what it is I actually like enough, to write about well enough, for someone to want to publish it.
It was an enlightening process.
It began innocently, with: What are your qualifications?
Hmmm… well I have a driver’s license, a police clearance check –although I’m not sure that’s ‘technically’ a qualification — and an RSA. (Responsible Service of Alcohol.) So basically I’m qualified to look after kids (kind-of), drive a car, and know that alcohol should not be mixed with those two activities.
There’s an article right there. 😉
Next: do you have any skills?
See above comment about washing. Also, I am able to write arguably interesting, though somewhat passive-aggressive blog posts about my skills or lack thereof, update Facebook on a semi-regular basis, and watch TV while ironing. (I am also skilled enough to know I cannot write ‘whilst’ ironing.) I should also add that I have been growing an avocado plant from seed, and my husband and children think I make the best garlic bread in the world.
A recipe article maybe? Garlic and Avocado bread?
What are your present and past occupations?
Well, I’m a mum, and we’ve already established I can feed and look after the kids, as well as drive them around.
I did the bottle shop thing; hence the RSA.
I occasionally dabble in some freelance copywriting (thankfully I get given the ‘interest’ in that situation), and let’s not forget my past vocation as a pizza delivery driver.
Cars, kids, wine and food- I’m sensing a theme here.
What are your hobbies?
Writing, blogging, and lamenting the need to introduce myself on internet forums.
I like Greys Anatomy, and have newly discovered Rookie Blue. I have a totally self-indulgent blog post comparing the two, drafted in my head. I could happily write an article on that?
Do you have family and friends and what do they do?
Yes, I do have them. Boatman would like me to write for fishing magazines.
Sadly, that’s been the most inspiration for articles I’ve had all week. No seriously; I have so many ideas I’m not entirely sure who I am any more.
What are your ambitions? Where is your life going?
Right now I think I would just like to find a topic of interest that I can adequately pitch to some actual publication. And after that, I think I’ve got some washing to do…
The funny thing is, I’m actually quite a purposeful person. I can talk quite easily and freely about the things I’m passionate about, and I can (and do) write about them too. If the mood strikes me, and I see a valid reason in doing so. For some reason though, simple questions are my kryptonite, which leave me staring into a black abyss full or uncertainty and self-flagellation.
I’m over it now. Taking the pressure off myself, I was able to come up with several ideas, and even begin drafting that interesting article that is not about driving cars, how to grow an avocado from seed by ignoring it, or the best pasta to eat with your wine. (Although there’s an idea!)
The moral of the story, for me at least is clear: when it comes to simple questions, you just have to not overthink it.
So what about you?
Do you ever get stuck on simple, questions?
How’s your week been? 😉