Posted in Uncategorized

Free Writing

(Done here because I’m too lazy to go get my note pad.)

From WritingFix Daily (a site I’ve never used before):
“Why is it so mixed?  Write about a trait or skill that is your biggest ‘Mixed Blessing.'”

Feigned Competence.  That’s my biggest mixed blessing.  My dirty secret of life.  What is feigned competence?  It’s my ability to know a small amount about something and then look knowledgeable and able concerning it.  It’s not something I do on purpose.  I don’t ever claim to have more experience than I do, it just comes off that way and no one questions it.

Some examples from my life:
Between sophomore and junior year of college, when I moved back home for the summer, I worked at Baker’s supermarket in the deli.  I started Memorial Day weekend amount the rush of people buying fried chicken, luncheon meats, and potato salad.  The supervisor and other employees didn’t have time to explain everything I was supposed to know.  I learned how to used the scales and the meat slicers and the rest I picked up by watching.  Several weeks passed and I was told to break down one of the slicers and clean it.  Although this was done every night, I had never been taught it and never had the opportunity to watch anyone do it all the way through.  “I’m not sure how,” I admitted.  That surprised my fellow employee.  “How long have you worked here?” she asked, a bit put off.  “Two and a half weeks,” I guessed.  “I though you’d been doing this for months,” she muttered, and showed me how to clean the cutter.

A similar think happened concerning HTML and website design.  I had done most of my early pages using an online text editor.  When the day came that I had to host my own pages, I hadn’t made the connection between and HTML file being a type of text file one edits with Word Pad.  When I asked Eric for help, he was absolutely amazed that I didn’t know this already.  After all, how long had I been fiddling with web pages?

A passed Calculus with a B in college and never really learned anything.

The problems occur when my knowledge breaks down.  Instead of being that ultra capable person that can handle the situation, I suddenly become foolishly incompetent.  I don’t even realize that I’ve projected that first image of myself.  I’ve been raised to take pride in what I can do, maybe that’s part of it.  But it’s harsh when I’m found out.  I never realized this trend until Eric pointed it out to me (and named it) six or eight years ago.  Since then, I’ve become more aware of it, but it’s like standing on shifting sand.  I begin to question anything I’m good at.  There’s a possibility that it’s all false, and when I ask a question I will be ridiculed.

What if I’m not the writer I think I am?  Sure, I got good grades and feedback in college.  I have a few things published in ‘for love’ magazines.  But nothing substantial in a very long time.  Not even a nibble.  What if the writer I’ve projected myself to be has been unmasked and now I’m just a bumbling fool?

30 min.


Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

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