Us nerds and geeks tend to get very into our own worlds. I know that I can sit down for hours on end playing a tabletop RPG with my brothers and friends. Hell, I’ll walk away from a long gaming session wanting more every time.
The same thing goes for reading (novels, comics, or whatever). I regularly stay up entirely too late because I’m too into a book to go to sleep.
All of these things can seem like bad habits or traits (my wife seems to think so sometimes–love you, Princess). However, if you work with your geeky and/or nerdy obsessions, you can make them work for you.
What I mean is that your hobbies and favorite pastimes don’t have to be bad, all-consuming things. Read on, and I’ll explain.
They say you should do what you love when picking a career. That’s essentially all I’m saying here. Figure out a way to earn a living and be productive using a few of your favorite things as motivation or work.
I’ll give you some examples from my own life:
- I’m obsessed with reading. Mostly I read sciency stuff, novels, comics, and car mags. Because I love to read, I decided, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could return the favor? I’ll write something for all the other readers out there.”
That turned into a degree in English from KSU, which turned into an MFA in writing from SNHU. Now I also write for a company that facilitates your local library’s ability to lend eBooks and audiobooks for free (OverDrive).
Oh, incidentally, if you didn’t know your library did that, it’s pretty cool–download our app and find your library! Go!
It’s a pretty sweet gig. I’m doing what I love for a company that promotes and distributes the written (and spoken) word to the masses. Nerdy obsession as my job = happiness.
- I’m a bit of a car nut. Rather than simply reading about and drooling over all the latest cars (I’m lookin’ at you Camaro ZL1), I decided that I could learn how to work on them to save cash.
So, now I change our oil and our brakes–stuff like that. It saves us money, AND I get to work on cars, which I kind of love. That’s a win-win. Bonus!
- As I said above, I loves me some tabletop RPG game time. Running one of those games is just like writing an interactive story for your friends. That translates well into writing actual stories or (in my case) a novel.
That’s how I earned my MFA. Soon, I hope to publish said novel thus accomplishing a life-long dream of mine. I regularly draw on my gaming sessions for inspiration and character development.
- I’m also a computer geek. I love building new machines and tweaking existing ones. For me, it’s a good time to take a laptop apart, make it better, then put it all back together.
So, I fix computers on the side sometimes. I charge enough cash to cover parts (plus a little for time) and I’m still way cheaper than Best Buy. There’s also a better chance you’ll get to keep your data.
Those are just four examples of how I’ve used my nerdy obsessions to get things done. They’ve given me fun, joy, and fueled my imagination. They’ve also given me a living, and some extra utility for my friends and family.
As my nerdy endeavors continue to grow (and they pretty much always do so), I will strive to find new ways to make them useful.
What about you? What are some of your nerdy obsessions, and how can/do you use them to your advantage?