Ever heard the expression ‘jack of all trades, master of none’?

That’s me. I’m one of life’s dabblers. I’m always slightly envious of people who are really *really* good at something. Doesn’t matter what it is – DIY, playing an instrument, writing, sport, whatever.

The other night we were watching The Great British Bake-off with the kids, and they suggested that I should go on it as I’m good at making cakes. Now, I can turn out a perfectly good, tasty cake[1], don’t get me wrong. But, like most people, I’d need a good recipe and lots of time and WILL YOU GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN WHILE I’M BAKING. That said, getting hugged by Mel & Sue when I went out in the first week might just make it worthwhile.

*ahem* I digress.

Ditto with DIY. I can put up a shelf and it’ll be more-or-less level so long as you don’t look too closely, but there’s a reasonably high probability of blood being involved somewhere along the line, and one too many holes in the wall than are strictly necessary.

I also keep looking at the guitar I bought last December, sitting largely unused in its case in the spare room. I’ve had it out maybe half a dozen times for a strum since I got it, but never really got past that point.

I’m reasonably good at a few things, but always just enough to know exactly how much I don’t know.

Take juggling. I can juggle three balls reasonably well, and four at a push. Some people are impressed[2], but deep down I know that anyone[3] with a couple of hours to spare and enough motivation to put the effort in could do much the same.

Same with photography. I’ve taken some nice photos (along with a significantly higher number of terrible ones), but follow enough ‘proper’ photographers to know that mine are mostly merely competent, with the odd exception.

I’d love to be an expert in something. And that involves time and effort and I completely get that. Given that I’m now over 40, and my life is full of other important stuff, I should really be a bit more picky about what I want to do. My free ‘me’ time is pretty precious, and needs to be used wisely…

[1] mmm, cake.
[2] ok, mainly small children.
[3] yes, even you.

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

10 thoughts on “Dabbling”

  1. Well. I too am a dabbler. A dilettante. A ‘Jill’ of all trades and master of precisely none.

    And although I know that I’d love to be accomplished at something, in the way heroines in Jane Austen novels are always described as ‘accomplished’, I know that I would be utterly bored stiff if I dropped all of my other interests in order to become great at once of them.

    Some people were born to be ‘divers’ – to swim deep into few, specialist areas. And some of us are born to be ‘scanners’ – generalists who are endlessly curious about new things. We always get asked when we’re young what we want to be when we grow up. And I’m still looking. It sounds a bit like you are too! But, instead of thinking that I should focus on one thing, I’ve decided to embrace being interested in everything (apart from golf!) and I think you should too…

      1. I recommend a book called ‘What Do I Do If I Want to Do Everything?’ if you’re looking for a way to make time for everything you’re interested in!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: