Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jack of All Trades, Master of ?

Of course, the traditional phrase ends 'master of none.' But, being a literalist and an eager, often learner, this perplexes me.

Is it possible to be a master of some trades?

I'm one of those people who, when I set my mind to something, accomplishes what I set out to do. It may nto be an easy, a pretty, or even a timely process, but I achieve my goal. I like conquering challenges-- forget Mt. Everest, but homegrown challenges are fun.

It may have taken three damn times, but I earned my Microsoft Word 2003 Expert Level Certification. (Which is different, and presumably much harder than the Core Certification.) And I went into that test thinking, ah, it'll be a breeze-- I've been using Word real well for a long time. Talk about some serious Microsoft-style Smack-down. But I studied and learned and passed it quite well by the third time.

I have always done quite well in all my school classes-- I prefer A's because they are areodymanic. Doesn't matter the subject. The only issue I've ever run into has been time constraints-- when I was an undergrad, I was working a full time job and taking four classes (12+ credits). I still don't have much of a social life...

When my dining room chairs broke, yeah, I tried getting Dad to fix them. But I guess I grew out of being Daddy's little girl, because them chairs certainly didn't ever move to the front of the line of projects. So, I learned how to fix them myself. With a little help from Dad, and his drill. I need more powertools...

Another example-- writing. I used to write novels to pass the time in high school. I used to swear, insist, and maintain that I could never write short stories. Then, I gave it a shot. Some fifty short stories later, I think I'm comfortable saying that I can write short stories.

Now I've gone back to writing my novels. (I'm certainly a far better writer now than I was before!) My betas have loved the novel so far, which is encouraging. Now, if I can get into the hands of the right agents, who then get it into the hands of the right publishers, I'll find out if I have mastered this trade-- or if I need to learn and work some more at it.

I may not master all trades possible, just the ones I set out to succeed at.

Is the phrase wrong? A simple, overgeneralization that applies to most? Or are we really all just a master of some trades?

What sorts of things have you set out to master?

1 comment:

David Cranmer said...

A few years back I was practicing magic almost every day and wanted to be a Copperfield. I had actually gotten to a point where I was quite accomplished with many people saying, "do that again" so they could try and figure out the trick. But eventually the writing bug struck again and the magic practice fell by the wayside. I guess I never really mastered it, but I'm not so sure I'm really completely done it... but then again, am I risking becoming one of those crazy uncles who does silly magic tricks?!