If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know, Gentle Reader, that I’ve been in the midst of a multi-year existential crisis about where I fit in my world. I’m a librarian without a library, a lawyer without a practice, an advocate without an organization, a hacker without a product, an academic without a school…
Without a doubt, we are living in The Age of the Makers. Which, when you are not a maker, leads to the aforementioned existential crisis. I tried to be A Maker, I did! I got a GitHub repo, I spent time learning more programming languages and staring at code all day, I fully bought into The Sermon on the Mountain View. “Blessed are the Makers, for they shall get the funding… Blessed are the disrupters, for the Silicon Valley shall be their kingdom…”
And all that did was make me crazy.
Which, in retrospect, is going to be obvious result of trying to fit your square peg of a skill set into the round hole of what’s valued by the people you are surrounded by.
It took Audrey Watters’ description of rebuilding her blog to finally shake me out of my non-maker secret self-loathing. Actually, make me realize that I was being filled with self-loathing.
Is this getting too weirdly emotional and navel-gaze-y? Well, guess what? That’s how I roll.
No, I don’t “make” code or products. I analyze, I critique, I compile, I bring the general down to a personal level and like a GitHub repo, I try to be as transparent and open in my thought processes and feelings as I do it.
I don’t hunt, I gather.
I believe that this is as necessary of a skill set as that possessed by the makers. “Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it,” after all. It’s still sinking in…I mean, I still feel obliged to mention that I can code and pull and ship and crush it and all those other exciting words…I just find it mind-numbingly boring to do so. But that shouldn’t matter. As with any analysis, an understanding of that which you critique is needed, but the fact that I don’t spend my days shipping code doesn’t mean that I have no value.
Non-maker pride. Let’s do it.