My Unattainable Skills.


Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.


What skill do you wish you had, either as a hobby or career builder?


My father was a carpenter by trade. He could take a piece of wood and turn it into something amazing. He built a fitted kitchen in our house from old pallets that his boss said he could have for firewood.

The trouble was that I could never learn how to be that clever with wood and tools, to his eternal despair, and mine. I would love to be more proficient at woodwork and do-it-yourself jobs in general.

The thing is, I’m far too impatient to be a successful artisan. I can’t read the grain of the wood like he could, I also have a tendency to measure once and cut twice, which of course is the opposite of what you need.

Which is not to say that I haven’t tried. I can do basic things but more complicated work has always been beyond me. I’ve made bad picture frames, put up wonky shelves and done various projects in the houses that we’ve owned but they always take twice as long as they should and never (at least to me) look very neat or professional.


And then there’s book marketing, an art that, even after ten years of trying, still seems like witchcraft to me. I just can’t get my head around it.

No matter how many books I read (well-marketed ones, OBVS) or courses I take, I never seem to find the magic combination that produces success.


Gardening is another skill that eludes me. My wife is a natural, I’m limited to carrying the heavy stuff and doing the digging, which is fine, I can’t mess that up. But knowing which plant is which?  All I know is that if you pull a plant up and it comes back, it’s a weed.


I’m too caught up in the world of the thoughts in my head, and the wonders of an editable page, to be competent in any slower, more accurate and demanding discipline.


Until next time.



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16 Responses

  1. Darlene Foster

    I always wished I could play the piano but I just couldn’t get my head around it. I also wish I could type As a writer, that would be a great skill to have. I imagine playing a piano and typing use the same brain cells which I don’t seem to have.

    • Richard Dee

      I’m envious of those that have it. Even when I copy their methods exactly, I get nothing.

  2. Jack Eason

    I wish I’d started writing seriously much earlier than I did back in 1995… As for working with wood I built several boats of varying sizes, every one powered by sail. My largest was a Herreschov (H28) gaff rigged. My smallest was a nine strake 11ft 9inch Sailing Acorn Dinghy (Sprit Sail)…

    • Richard Dee

      I never thought I’d write a word, until I had the dream. My father was a boatbuilder, on the River Dart.

    • Richard Dee

      It’s quicker and cheaper for me to get someone to do things. It also preserves my sanity.

    • Richard Dee

      I can fix broken things, it’s the new stuff that I can’t manage.

  3. Daryl Devore

    I think we generally look at something we’ve created and think it doesn’t look very professional. It’s that critical mind thing. And I definitely agree with you that book marketing is some form of witchcraft.
    Tweeted.

    • Richard Dee

      That’s true. Imposter syndrome is stronger than logic sometimes.

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