Are You Good at Anything else?

If you are reading this blog, you’re probably a writer. Or a wanna be writer. Or a Seven Scribes groupie. Or a loyal friend who feels obligated to read this blog.(Sigh… That’s what friends are for.) Writing is considered an art form. Right? Like painting or acting, or dance. And as I was sitting in my classroom with my hands covered in glue and sunflower seeds, gently directing/ maniacally yelling at my class to finish their spring projects (Eat the sunflower seeds if you have to but not the glue!) I started thinking.

Are writers otherwise artistically inclined?

I’ve never been a jock (Surprise, surprise!) My school career consisted of years of clarinet lessons, play rehearsals and choir practices. (NERD!) And while I’ll readily admit that I was not running in the same crowd as the cool kids, I never considered myself artsy either. In my school the artsy kids were the ones who wore all black, wrote bad poetry and spent hours in studio art sketching things that would make your mama blush. The artistic kids were… weird. I wasn’t … well not really.

I was a writer even in high school, even though at that point I had yet to put a pen to paper I would dream up fantastical story lines all of them with happy endings. But I never thought that in any way that I was artistic. I couldn’t paint or draw. But writing is an art form. So by that logic I must be.

It didn’t occur to me that I might be until I started teaching elementary school five years ago. To work with children one must be crafty. I have fixed broken glasses with a paper clips. Ducked taped shoes together, replaced shoe laces with yarn and found hundreds of creative ways to get gunk out of things. I became the Macgyver of second grade. Creativity and teaching seem go hand in hand. Walk into any elementary school and the one thing you won’t find are bare walls. Come into my class room and you’ll think a Micheal’s craft store exploded in there. Art projects are what make elementary schools look like happy places.

This 3 foot tall flower was made by hundreds of tiny pieces of paper. Yes, it took a really long time to put up.

So maybe I can’t draw or paint but I can make some parent smile with the masterpiece their child created out of tissue paper and glue. And by doing that I can make the place I work look like a pretty, happy place. And that’s what I’m good at. So I guess I am an artsy person. I like going to shows and museums. I rather watch Antiques Road show than football.(I sound super boring, don’t I? And about a thousand years old. I can be fun. I swear!)

All refrigerator worthy!

But what about other writers? Do we all enjoy the same things. Are we easily stereotyped?  Are we all just a little bit dorky? How many of us are former jocks or homecoming queens? For how many of us is writing the only artsy thing we’re good at?

So share with me. What else are you good at?

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19 thoughts on “Are You Good at Anything else?”

  1. Jamie, that is a fantastic flower! I believe art (in all its forms) is good for the soul. Art was my favorite subject through all grades (english and history were close seconds). I always thought I’d go to art school, but talked myself out of it because I believed I couldn’t make a living as an artist. Instead, I ended up with degrees in anthroplogy and psychology! In school, I was in chorus, drama from 7th grade to my first year in college and I was never into sports (but I was the manager of the cross country team and track team, only because I wanted to earn my letter). I’ve always, always been a creative person. There isn’t a moment that I’m not creating something. When I’m not writing, I like to bake, knit, crochet, draw, make puzzles, and I’m a constant student of history.

    Welcome to your people, Jamie. I’ll watch antique roadshow with you anytime!

  2. I was a performing arts major and always planned to be a great stage actress. But it turns out that, while I was good, I was surrounded by people who were EXTRAORDINARY. But I still like to sing and I have not given up hope of starring in a local production of MAME someday.

    I’m a right brain/left brain personality disorder person. I am good at systems, charts, and organization. I’m good at boiling big-picture stuff down into steps. My ex swears that I should have become an engineer but, seriously, advanced calculus? Ick.

    And I ain’t a bad cook. 🙂 Favorite TV show? CHOPPED!

      1. I love chopped as well – my dinner was an episode of it last night. I had A B and C in my fridge. It was a little scary lol

  3. Great post Jamie! I LOVED my second grade teacher. She made learning fun, and most days, added something artistic into the curriculum. She believed in a “well-rounded” education and pointed out on my report card that I was, even then, a “well-rounded” child. I was the tomboy who beat all the boys in running races and push-up contests on the playground…jock…later turned figure skater and martial artist. Note, the word artist. I think I was drawn to individual sports like that rather than team sports because there was an element of artistry and creativity to skating and karate that helped me with self-expression.

    Writing and drawing came easy to me as well. I don’t consider myself a crafty person because I’ve never had much patience for sedentary activity. That’s one of my biggest challenges, considering I now sit for several hours a day at the computer. I did a bit of drama in school and love to sing, so I do think there is something to the idea that writers are generally more “artistic” than the average person. Creativity combined with logic makes us those “well-rounded” people my teacher talked about.

  4. I love your post Jamie. It thought provoking. And that flower, what do you mean, hundreds of pieces of paper? splain please . . . it is beautiful. Of course you are an artist. You take a blank paper and fill it with words, and the words tell a story. I am doing that with my writing, I do it with my paintings, I did it with my bead making, jewelry making, ironing, polishing a car, a fork, you get the point? All those wonderful acts that take you from an empty place to a full plate. From nothing, to something, and the finished work is always rewarding. Thanks for the memories you invoked.

  5. Hi Jamie,
    You are very artsy making that flower out of hundreds of pieces of paper! As for me, in highschool, I was editor of the school newspaper. In college, my minor was theater. I can sketch and paint and love to redecorate the rooms in my home. Besides writing, cooking is one of my passions. Having said that, I was always active. Not a sport jock, but more in extreme sports. I use to roller blade, I have done bungie jumping and I have done 56 skydives. Yeah, I know – some people say crazy … but I think of it a daring because doesn’t a writer have to be daring to be willing to put their soul down on paper and have the world read it?

  6. Beautiful Flower. Beside writing I knit, sew (make new clothes–as I tell my husband–I create, I do not mend, LOL) I make jewelry and love to bake. Plus I took eight years of acting lessons, I love decorating and interior design and doodle a little with drawings. On the physical side, I roller blade, snowboard, skiing and I love boating.

  7. Anything to do with kids and teaching, for sure. I started out as a teacher, and I think my writing also carries some kind of teachable moment thread in each piece.

    Love the flower! You are crafty!

  8. I fit under loyal friend; what’s a Monday without a blog to read tho? And I scribble, dream, not really a writer but as uncreative as I think I am, there is always someone less creative than me. I love museums. I actually like art. Let me paint pottery…make? Not so much, but I have tried, 3 semesters worth. I like to paint. I live with a talented, artistic sister but when she pulls out paint, I jump right in. Who says it has to be good to be artistic? I fingerpainted, built amazing block houses and played with playdough. I feel artistic and free…or at least my toddler-casualty inflicted clothes, hair and psyche tell me.

  9. Yes, I admit to being dorky. I played the oboe in the school concert band and orchestra, played tenor sax in the marching band and stage (jazz) band, sang in the school choir and my church’s choir, and was a high-up-mucky-muck in our state’s high school history club program. Not only was I a nerd, but I was elected the head nerd (Chairperson) in New York State one year! We built museum exhibits for the state competition and I was captain of the “History Bowl” team (state trivia champions more than once!). I never played any sports, which I really regret now. I wish I’d played on one team at least. I was (and remain) uncoordinated, but I probably could have run cross-country, except it would have involved, you know, running. The good thing was, all my friends were nerds too, and there were a lot of us, and there was some minor overlap between the cool kids circle and the nerds, so we were not persecuted like in Revenge of the Nerds. Which, by the way, is a movie I highly recommend when you are feeling down on yourself! BTW, I love your big flower too, Jamie! And I agree, elementary schools look and feel happier with the art projects, all of them fridgeworthy! Craft on, baby.

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