On one hand, I'm a technical geek. On the other, a passionate creative. Two sides of the same coin that keep me spinning on the table of life like a...er... coin.
Being a, dare I say it, guru in all things “computer” can be quite a bind. Friends call you at night asking for help with their PCs, iPhones and Androids. Some expect you to host and maintain their personal sites. Others want help with their email settings and inability to “work an Internet”. All in the name of being a good buddy and possessing skills that they don't. A service that nobody seems to realise I charge quite high rates for during the day.
If I were to ask them for free help that involved their professional skills, I'm sure I would be met with derision, debt or most likely denial.
"Pop over and do my accounts would you?"; "Oh come on, install a conservatory for me for free!"; "Give me that Audi A4 on your forecourt, pleasey weasey".
Somehow, technical ability is considered a charity amongst friends and family and quite frankly I've had about enough of it, you hear!
If, given the choice, I wouldn't be a techie at all. I wouldn't spod about at the computer all day trying to scrape money together for paying the rent and satisfying my obsession with gadgets, art and booze (not necessarily in order of preference).
Given the choice, I would eradicate that side of my brain that makes it all too easy for me to use my scientific understanding and put aside the happier side of my brain. The one that creates. The one that acts. The one that writes music and badly sings songs. The one that make people laugh through absurd stories or self-penned one liners. If any of those things could be my full time pursuit, I would throw my PC out of the Window(s Vista) at the first opportunity. Something I have wanted to do for a very long time. I would of course keep my all my Apple toys, because they are beautiful and make me gooey, both inside and out.
The reason I don’t do it, may be that it’s far too easy for me to make money at being a nerd. It may be because I’m scared to try and make it as a bo-ho artisan. The excuse could be that I am concentrating on far too many creative fields to truly excel in any of them. Of course, the whys and wherefores may rest truly in the lap the gods of “not being good enough in any of those fields to justify jacking in your dweeb business and run with your inner artiste, through the poppy fields of art”. They are Greek gods, I think.
My attempts to be a successful actor have stalled at the stage of just being able to call myself an actor (with a day job and no acting work). My efforts in becoming a successful songwriter have ground to a halt in being able to say I’ve written quite a lot of songs (that are gathering virtual dust on my hard drive). My achievements in being a successful director have desisted at being able to say I once directed a play (because I wanted to take the lead role). My achievement at becoming a successful comedy writer have been curbed at the level of a daily Twitter innuendo (that I generally come up with whilst on the loo). I somehow seem to be shying away from the “successful” part of my ambitions.
So now, I’m turning my focus to writing a successful book. I fear it may well go the same way as my other loves and pursuits and end up being a manuscript that nobody but my nearest and dearest will pretend to read. But I shall write it nonetheless and hope that success comes-a-knockin’.
And back to the point of this article. If life does ever present me with the opportunity to earn a half-decent wage from my right hemisphere and its eager lobes, will I be adverse to people asking me for free work? Probably not. I’d probably encourage it. The reason I kick started this diatribe against the scroungers of my digital prowess was because they constantly want a skill that I resent having.
Ask me to write you a song. Ask me to create a joke for you. Ask me to act in a play. Ask me to write you a sonnet.
Ask me to do anything - just don’t ask me to fix your sodding PC!