futures anxiety

Friday, February 27th, 2004

Jason Iorio has concerns. It’s about this post, I assume, and the future. He writes:

My lack of interest in Programming is starting to become obvious to me. I never thought industrial-level programming was going to be my cup of tea, but I was hoping one of the classes I’ve taken was going to jump out and grab me by the armpit hairs. But it seems like I was a samurai trying to learn blacksmithery to make my own swords or something. Didn’t happen.

So what to do? How to proceed, and where to go? I’ve always been more of the idea man, and there is a place for that in the computer gaming world, but how to get to that point is the question. I mean, no one’s going to come looking for a Chief Creative Emperor or what-have-you anytime soon. Professor Steve said in his contacts that they’re always looking for people to write on video game projects. But can a job writing plot and dialogue for a game really lead anywhere? Maybe, but to the Czar-hood that I would really need to explore my own ideas?

Good, edgy writing–and writers–is–are–always in demand, but that’s only a part of the story. There are a lot of variables here. Good skills at articulation and competent discourse are key to every discipline, but the form and structure of those will always vary, as has always been the case. Good writers and speakers (i.e., people who need to articulate ideas to an audience in whatever form) adjust situation to situation. Reports, email, letters, conversation (determining which ones matter is a skill dance?), design documents, group talk, meetings–it doesn’t matter. We must read, listen, and pay attention to what’s going on. We all have to understand story. Which one we really need to learn is sometimes difficult.

Rick DeMarinis has written a similar story to Jason’s above. It’s called Horizontal Snow (The Voice of America 1991), originally published in Story. The first few lines go:

Because of a snag in my thinking I lost interest in both vector analysis and differential equations and had to drop out of college and hitchhike home twelve credits short of graduation.

The protagonist doesn’t have an easy time of it in the story. Help comes from unlikely places. He survives.


One response to “futures anxiety”

  1. gibb says:

    From this post I get a mental image of a writer climbing hills, halfway beyond the ones he has scaled and looking out towards an endless display of planes and angles, heights and valleys spreading in all directions. But he is carrying a bag of tricks; a pen, a book, and a notebook in which he scribbles his journey.