My boyfriend (via thecarrionlibrarian)
#no but can you imagine if that was how you learned once a month you weren’t pregnant#by some dude singing songs about the victory of it#you wake up and he’s there and you are so happy#this dude becomes your favorite dude#but then you realize you haven’t seen your friend’s minstrel in a while#I mean everyone notices#like half the people are on the same cycle so for one week out of four your job is just flooded with fucking minstrels everywhere#the cacophony#but Mary over there is all alone#and she’s like my minstrel is late#but we all fucking know#her minstrel has gone off to find her a baby#a nine month journey he must make alone#and until he comes back there is no music in her life#what a glorious world this would be#I love the minstrels (@onionjuggler)
one thing I want to say today relates to my current job. (As you guys know, I’ve left off working in science labs to work an office job in sci comm. My role is kind of … nebulous and involves a lot of “oh, Elodie can help you with that, she does weird stuff. Train Elodie on that.”)
Because it’s an office job, the mentality is for everyone to present their workflows as incredibly difficult and skilled, requiring a lot of training and experience to do properly. Which is fair enough! These skills are difficult!
"Elodie, today we are going to train you to use… A HIGHLY COMPLICATED AND DIFFICULT WEBSITE INTERFACE. You will need to take a lot of notes and pay careful attention, because it is extremely advanced. ARE YOU READY"
"… This is Wordpress."
"…No it isn’t! it says something different at the top. And it’s very complicated, it’s not something you can just know already."
"Nah son, don’t worry, it’s Wordpress. I mean, God knows I don’t blog much, but I can manage me a bit of Wordpress, it’s cool."
"No. You can’t. Don’t worry, it’s very difficult. Now sit still and be trained on how to upload a photo to Wordpress."
"Elodie, do you think that you can MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA? It is INCREDIBLY HARD and may involve THE HASHTAGS"
"… I think I’ll manage."
"Elodie, can you put a HYPERLINK in a thing? Think about it before you answer."
"Is it like a BBCode kind of thing, with the boxy bracket things, or do you want it in HTML, with like angley bracket things?"
"It is a button that you press that says HYPERLINK."
"I can do this thing for you."
"Elodie, can you write a punchy summary that will make people want to click on a special link that says "read more" to read all of the text?"
"Elodie, this is how to use TAGS on CONTENT. TAGS on CONTENT are important because - because of THINGS. Things that are too arcane and mysterious for anyone below the level of Manager to know."
"Cool, I can tag stuff for you."
"Elodie, this is obviously a ridiculous question, but can you edit videos?"
"Not very well, and only if you want to make it look like there is sexual tension between characters from different forms of visual media, or perhaps to make a trailer for a fanfiction? Which is not necessarily a good use of my time and I’m not sure why I felt it was so cool to do to begin with…"
"Actually, upon further reflection: no. No. Nope. I can’t edit videos. They’re completely beyond me. Not in my wheelhouse. Hate videos. Hate them. No innate skill whatsoever."
"That’s what we thought"
"Elodie?! You can use PHOTOSHOP?!"
"Yeah, I mean, I usually just use Pixlr. It’s free, it’s online, it’s powerful, you don’t have to download anything…"
"but you are not a GRAPHIC DESIGNER!!"
"Next you’ll be telling us you can MAKE AN ANIMATED PICTURE."
"I mean, I haven’t really done a lot of it since Livejournal, and they weren’t that good anyway, but yeah… I can do you reaction images."
"THAT IS WITCHCRAFT"
What I’m trying to say is: a lot of people talk a lot of crap about what we Millenials do on the Internet, because there is NO CAPITALISTIC VALUE in the screwing around we do with our friends. “Ughh why are you ALWAYS on the computer?” our parents whined.
"How did you make the text go all slanty like that?" our bosses wonder.
We have decades of experience in Photoshop. We know how to communicate; we can make people across the planet care about our problems. We know how to edit media to make two characters look like they’re having the sexual tensions. We can make people read our posts, follow us, share our content. We run and manage our own websites - and make them pretty. We moderate conversations, enforce commenting policies, manage compromises, lead battles, encourage peace, defend ourselves from attack, inspire others, and foster incredible levels of communication.
We produce our art. We advertise our art. We engage with others through our art. We accept constructive criticism and dismiss destructive trolling of our art. We improve our art. Our art gets better.
We narrate our stories.
All by ourselves. Our pretty blog backgrounds, custom-edited themes, tasteful graphics, punchy content, clever gifs, our snappy putdowns and smart-ass text posts, even our familiarity with fonts and composition - all of these skills we’ve casually accumulated for fun/approval are MINDBLOWING LEVELS OF COMPETENCE IN THE WORKFORCE.
When these skills are sold to you - when they’re packaged and marketed, and when you pay to consume them and have the Elders rate you on them - they are incredibly valuable. They are Media and Communications degrees. They are marketing internships. They are leadership workshops. They are graphics design modules. They are web design courses. They are programming courses. We are good at this shit; we have it nailed down.
You can’t put “fandom” or “blogging” on your CV, but you deserve to. You should get this credit. You should claim this power and authority.
Claim these skills. They are valuable. They are important.
Everything you have ever done is a part of your powerful makings.
I want to second what elodieunderglass has to say here, because it’s so true. You want to buff up your resume or your LinkedIn page?
-if you know enough html to do <i>this is italic text</i>, then you understand HTML and can pretty much call yourself a Junior Developer
-if you ever wanted to customize your LJ or tumblr and copied someone’s CSS code and then went in and tweaked font color and added your own header image? You understand CSS and again, you can put Junior Developer in your LinkedIn title.
-if you can use twitter and tumblr and put hashtags and regular tags on stuff, you’re a Social Media Manager. If you can get people to follow you and comment back, you have Demonstrated Social Media Efficacy.
-if you can use Photoshop (or Pixlr!) to make five million pictures of Natalie Dormer really pretty, you are a Photo Editor.
-if you can migrate some of your Photoshop skills to InDesign, you are a Production Editor with demonstrable skills in Layout For Print Publications
The only reason you’re given the impression that these are jobs for really smart brogrammers with masters degrees in computer science is because scary jargon keeps people out. Look stuff up, and you’ll find out you already know a ton of this material. I promise you, you’re more qualified for tech/developer jobs than a lot of the people actually working at firms that focus on those kind of jobs.
all of that and some more.
how fast do you type? believe me, knowing how to type quickly and correctly is a huge advantage over people who do it very slowly using only their forefingers, frantically searching for letters on the keyboard(and before you laugh, it’s a thing. have you seen older people on computer?).
Three forms of terrestrial mammal locomotion:
PLANTIGRADE: “sole walking”—animals walk by “planting” the full soles of their feet on the ground
DIGITIGRADE: “finger/toe walking”—animals walk with all or most of the length of their toes (“digits”), but not the full soles of their feet
UNGULIGRADE: “hoof walking”—animals walk on only their nails, usually hooves (as in “ungulates”)
On Twitter today — and everyday — there was some chatter and scuffle about Some Authors’ Careers and Some Authors’ Fame and whether they had deserved it. Some folks invariably said the chatter and scuffle was jealousy. Some others invariably said not everything is jealousy.
Here’s what I think: having a writing career is like driving a race car.
I’m not really a grand race car driver, mostly because I’ve discovered that I don’t really care about winning against anyone but myself, which turns out to be not the point of organized sports. But I have been in race cars, and on race tracks, and have spent many hours doing classwork at over 70 mph. Enough to know that a writing career is a lot like driving a race car.
One of the things they teach you in every single form of car racing is to keep your eyes up. Up. Upper than that. Upper than even that. Don’t look at the dash, because then you won’t see what’s happening on the road. Don’t look at the road right in front of you, because you won’t see that the turn you’re going into links into another turn and you could set yourself up for both. Put your eyes up as far as you can see down the road, and look there. Only when you see the absolute farthest point can you start to calculate the best way of getting there.
(this is great advice to use when you’re driving normally, by the way)
A writing career is like that. Use your peripheral vision to look at the things that are coming at you day to day, but never forget that every decision should contribute that farthest-away-point you want to get to. Never forget that every tiny success and failure is just a steer or counter steer toward the real point of the thing.
And here’s the other thing they tell you about keeping your eyes up: don’t fixate on the person in front of you. If there’s another driver just in front of you, the tendency is to stare at their bumper and then take the turn just like they do. But guess what? Then the absolute best scenario is that you will take the turn just like they do. So if they’re taking it wrong, you’ll take it wrong too. If there’s a better way, a faster way, a cooler way, a way that involves painting a giant knife on the side of your car and listening to Finnish rap very loudly, you’ll never know.
Eyes up, drivers, they say: look past the car in front of you. All you need to do is to note them well enough that you can pass them when you find a better way to take the turn.
Don’t fixate, writers. Eyes up, writers. I don’t care if x or y is doing a or b. What does that have to do with me? I have my eyes on where I want to go, and no one else matters.
The race is Maggie vs. Maggie. Who are you competing with?
reblogging this because the writer-envy piece in yesterday’s Salon hurts my soul on a most basic level.
It’s ludicrous to go comparing yourself to/being jealous of other writers. It’s meaningless. No one is going to write like you, even if they use the same themes and tropes, and there is no telling why one writer’s thing hits big and why the same ballpark thing, two years earlier, didn’t. You may as well get angry because Jonathan Livingston Seagull hit big and your pelican book didn’t, or for my generation, Harry Potter. It doesn’t work.
You could put twenty writers in a room, give them the same idea, and they would write twenty different things. It’s absurd to be jealous. And the person who strives to write what the market demands or what is “hot” right now will fail, because markets and audiences change faster than the publishing system can turn books out.
All we can do is write what we want to write and understand that making ourselves happy is all we may get to do. And, if we’re lucky, we’ll make a bit of money. But we can’t guarantee we’ll write a bestseller. No one can. If you’re jealous of other writers, you’re simply wasting your own time and energy. If you compare yourself to other writers, the same applies. The only writer you should worry about, apart from reading for pleasure, is you. You’re the only writer who matters then.