What Are You Good At?


Everyone is good at something. What are you good at? 

It's easy to look around and see all the other things people are doing and think, I wish I was good at that. We seem to have a tendency to feel silly if we talk about our strengths, so we talk about our weaknesses instead, listing the things we want to work on and the areas we need to improve. At least, I do. And it's not a bad thing to want to improve; certainly we all have learning to do. But everyone has things they would say they excel at, and today, on this first day of March, I am going to talk about them!

Here are a few for me, in no particular order:

1. I am a good writer.

I not only enjoy writing, but I think I have a gift for it. I've edited hundreds of books and articles in my career, and while some may disagree, I personally believe that good writing cannot be taught. You can take a good writer and teach him to be a great writer, but you can't take a bad writer and teach him to be a good writer. I wouldn't call myself a great writer by any means, but I do think I'm good.

Recently I sent a few essays in to an online motherhood blog, hoping to get them published. Both were rejected, which really bummed me out, if I'm being honest with you. I ended up publishing them here on TLO (here and here), because I think they were good, and they got positive reactions, which made me feel a little better. Even though my pieces weren't a good fit for that website, I do think I'm a good writer and take pride in what I publish on this blog. I think it's good to try new things and step outside your comfort zone, like I did with my essays, but even if it doesn't work out, it's important to not let outside circumstances negatively affect your confidence in your abilities.

2. I am a good editor.

I have absolutely no idea how or why I have this skill, but editing is something I love even more than writing, and I am really good at it. I feel blessed to have gotten some great experience in the field of editing and publishing, and even though initially I always freak out at the beginning of a book because I don't know if I will be able to do a good job, I am always proud of the edited manuscript that I return to authors when I'm finished. (Of course, errors on this blog always slip through the cracks, causing a major face palm moment. But that's a blog post for another day.)

p.s. You might enjoy the series of posts I wrote about editing. (Click here for an FAQs post!)
*Shameless plug... I do freelance editing! Email me if you're interested in knowing more about that.

3. I am good at making scrapbooks.

I have been making scrapbooks since I was in junior high, and this is a creative outlet that I am really good at. I have an eye for seeing how I want a page to come together, and I have the discipline to get it done in a timely fashion (my current Project Life 2015 book notwithstanding).

4. I am good at talking to (new) people.

I am pretty extroverted, and so I don't have a huge problem talking to new people or being in new situations. Sure, I feel awkward and get nervous a lot of the time, but I think I'm good at pushing through that and making people feel included and comfortable. (Just don't try to give me a hug!)

5. I am good at taking pictures.

I am the first to admit that I have a lot to learn about photography. I am by no means a professional, and there are a ton of things I wish I were better at (capturing that golden hour!). But I am really proud of how far I've come with my skills since buying my DSLR a few years ago and feel that I have a creative "eye" for composition and getting a good shot, which are harder to teach than how to properly use settings. 

I read the manual from back to front, read some online articles, but other than that just kept the darn thing on the manual setting and practiced. Professional pictures are so expensive (for good reason!) and it's been nice to be able to take my own photos of R. I enjoy it and have pictures I really like! We paid for professional maternity pictures, but I took my own newborn pictures of R, and they turned out exactly how I wanted.

Related: Things I Like Doing (When I'm Not Blogging) // 10 Things I Like About Myself

So now tell me! What are you good at?
Kayla MKOY said...

I think it's SO important to talk about the positives that we see in ourselves! To add to your list I think you're hilarious, an incredible momma and an insanely awesome runner. :)

I did a post like this once- and I think you're the one who inspired me to write it- "10 things I like about myself" :) so, thank you for that. It's so easy to compare ourselves and our gifts to other people's, but we are exactly who were supposed to be!!

Erin LFF said...

I was nodding right along with all the things you listed :) It's clear to see you're a good writer and also a talented photographer, I think! I always enjoy your blog because there's something good/funny/entertaining to read and usually some great photos to go along with it!

Unknown said...

I love this! It is so important for our growth and self-esteem to realize where our strengths lie and to find new outlets to utilize these gifts. I also find it so much more encouraging than constantly looking for my weaknesses.

Ashley said...

Love this post! I would say I'm good at telling stories. While I love to write and people tell me I'm good at it, there's nothing quite like being in a group of family or friends and striking that PERFECT tone to make people laugh. I'm also pretty good with color (I know this is odd). When I crochet blankets or make something, I'm good at getting the color combinations and ratios just right to bet showcase everything. I think they call it spatial sense...? Lol. Anyway, I'm pretty good at that, too.

Unknown said...

This is such a great idea! I need to do this more. I always seem to focus on the things I'm not good at or that I don't do well verses the things I do well. I love that you're great at editing! I'm horrible at it and it's frustrating, ha! When I was in college I had the option to take a copy editing class and I knew it was a bad idea because I'm so bad at it, haha!

Miriam said...

Isn't that the truth? Saying out loud what you're good at is harder than it should be. It seems - inappropriate, somehow. I think that's more a problem of women, men seem to be absolutely fine highlighting their own strengths. Good for you for highlighting yours here! You are a wonderful writer, and it's a bummer to be rejected. I know the feeling well, and it's so easy to fall into the "I'm not good enough"-trap. But that's not the case usually; like you said, it just didn't fit with their particular website. Keep doing you, you're awesome!

Tracy said...

Having gone from my liberal arts/language background to engineering, I am definitely in agreement that good writing can't be taught! I don't think I'm an amazing writer, but I've always enjoyed it and been good at it, and on top of that I have an appreciation for good and correct writing. I can't tell you how many times I've had to explain the difference between active and passive voice over the last couple of years. I'm not great at recognizing my own strengths either, but I was actually just in an (engineering) interview yesterday, and when I was asked about my writing/communication skills I gave an enthusiastic, "They're great!" without hesitating ;)
I wish I were good at talking to new people! That is absolutely NOT a strength of mine!

Unknown said...

Such a great idea for a post and I think you are a great writer because you can always make me laugh and I think comedy is very hard to write.

Jenny Fish said...

This is awesome! I think I'm good at writing, too. It's definitely something I love to do. As the designated "essay editor" in my college friend group, I definitely agree with the statement that you can't teach a bad writer to be a good one. Other things I think I'm good at? Hitting deadlines, setting goals & making a plan to hit said goals, fixing my hair (emphasis on the "my") and basketball (or at least I used to be).

Anonymous said...

Positive self talk is so important! It was great to learn a little more about you with these good things.

I'm good at creating spreadsheets and paying attention to details. I'm good at looking at the big picture - both personally and in business development.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i don't know you that well, but i can definitely agree with all of these! from what i know anyway. i'd say you are a good mom as well :)
to be honest, and i don't say this to be modest or talk down to myself, but there is not a whole lot i am good at. i'm really good at reading. i'm loyal and don't let people down, if i can help it. but actual things - like writing or editing or painting or doing anything, nope, not really lol

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

I'm really good at borrowing my friend's blog posts ideas ;) but seriously! This is so fun! I might have to write my own.

I have to agree that you are good at all of the above. I think it is good to take an inventory at what you are good at because God gives gifts and it is good to recognize that.

That is super fun that you got to take R's newborn photos. You should write a post with your favorite poses and how you did them. I bet that would be helpful to a lot of new Moms.

Unknown said...

I love that you shared this! I just wrote a post about being authentic, but it's basically come out of spending so much time measuring myself up to others and feeling like I come up short. I've always done this, but really, WHY? Why, when I have my own strengths and talents and am just my own combination of elements? So again, I love this post, that you're taking the time to take stock of your own strengths. You are a great writer. I just read your post "Voices" and just love your openness. I also wish I could be more extroverted (there I go again!), it's such an awesome skill that some people don't even realize they have. I think I'll have to think for a while on mine, but I think one of my skills is listening and connecting with people.

Jenny Evans said...

This is a great idea for a post. You sound a lot like me (except that I'd love to be good at photography.)

Rach said...

I love this! It's so good to name the things we're good at as well! You are definitely a good writer! I so enjoy your blog. :)

Maria said...

You forgot "making people laugh" and "not taking yourself or blogging too seriously".

This is a great exercise and I'll admit it took me a while to come up with a few things, here it goes: I'm really good at organizing, cleaning (I'm very thorough and no nook or cranny goes untouched), and being a good listener. Not sure how far those things will get me in life, but I'll take what I can get it!

Rachel said...

I'm terrified at the prospect of talking to new people, although I usually handle it okay when it all comes down to it, but I'm not like Angel or my Dad or all the other people I know who will straight up talk to strangers for no reason. I don't understand! :P
I'm not good at photography--I long ago learned that I love looking at good pictures, and I don't mind posing for photos at all...but I hate being behind a camera. I like the memories, though, so I'll do it, once in a while. Angel takes most of the photos in this family. I'm his personal editor and he's my personal photographer. It all works out.
I consider myself a talented writer, too. Also, I'm very good at learning and using other languages when needed (Spanish and Mandarin, primarily). I'm really, really good at taking standardized or multiple choice or basically any test--some people get test anxiety,...I'm just really good at taking tests. Angel used to ask me sample test questions when he was studying for nursing certs and I'd get most of them right. For someone like me it's probably a little too easy to think of things I'm good at--my mama didn't do a very good job of raising un-self-confident children....

Jamie said...

I needed this one today <3

Victoria said...

You're right...It is good to pause to think about what we're good at and then pay more attention to keeping at it instead of running around trying to get better at EVERYTHING! ;) Maybe I'm the only one that does that....LOL!

You take really great photos!!!! I've seen several of your little girl and thought they were professional. Seriously!

What you said about writing just might be true. I've been reading a bit more about writing as a craft and have really been asking myself if I believe that writing can be taught or not.

So...What am I good at???

Growing things. Once I know where they need to be grown and what kind of attention they need, it usually goes pretty well.

Getting people to talk. It takes me a while to do this with BRAND NEW people, but for the most part I'm always learning things about people just by getting them to know that I'm willing to listen. Just last night I was talking with one of the Moms that I've chatted with a few times at the theatre where my brother and sister are working on a play and I got to hear all about the four years she spent living in Nepal with her family of six and the teacher that came with them to help with their kids! Who would have EVER guessed that!??! It was super interesting!

Planning things. I'm really good about figuring out what needs doing, what can wait, and how to make the best use of time. Sometimes this means I go a little crazy and I'm not very good at being spontaneous, but it has been really helpful time and time again.

Writing. I don't know if it's just something I love doing, but it seems like something I'm pretty good at.

Unknown said...

Really good ❤️❤️