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Taking the first step

Take the first step. Photo credit: Carrie. Items and locations rendered in Second Life.

Hello, Production Hackers!

I’m your friendly new writer, here to complement the current topics, subject matter, and ideas put forth by Sharif, aka the Numero Uno of Production Hackers. I’ll be adding some new topics to the mix while attempting to bring my American sense of humor and insight into the process.

There’s a saying that goes “The journey of one thousand miles begins with the first step,” and this endeavor is no different. I have a lot of ideas and experiences to share with all of you, but I should begin with the most difficult of all subjects; myself. Even though I am an expert at being me, I still find it easier to write about other things. Maybe because, as a child, I was taught that talking about yourself is bragging, but that concept has really changed with the adoption of social media, the gig economy, and things like online art portfolios. I’ve learned we must become our own cheerleaders, our own advocates, and at times, our own bullhorns.

The first time I wrote an ‘about me’ was way back in 2004. It wasn’t pretty. I submitted a story to a geek/tech blog online and had to back it up with a description of me. I had been writing professionally for almost 20 years at that point, but this was the first public thing I’d written from my point of view. Before this, I was able to keep my words safely to myself, hidden away from criticism or even ridicule. I was worried the internet would eat me alive. That first ‘about me’ reflected that nervousness and inexperience. It’s tempting to go back to that old self-deprecating description of myself and just cut and paste it here, but I’ve changed too much for those things to be true any longer.

So here I am. Taking the first step again.

I am an American woman who began life in the U.K., then bounced around the United States, finally coming to a stop in the beautiful state of Colorado. I was born in the very early 1970’s, so I have been witness to the entire arc of digital entertainment, from Pong to virtual reality. I was a voracious reader as a child, consuming Tolkien and Asimov at a probably too young and impressionable age, so for some time, I did believe things like dragons and spaceships were really real. I was considered a ‘gifted’ child but often got bored with public school and the people in it. I daydreamed a lot about the future, and where humanity would be when I reached 20, 30, then 40. Spoiler: it didn’t turn out like I thought, but lots of other great things happened.

I started drawing around age 3, and I still draw by hand today, preferring it over digital methods. I know, call me a Luddite, but there’s nothing like a good ol’ number 2 pencil. After going to school for design, this became my career path for some time, while also teaching myself to use computers and software. Personal writing was happening at this point, and it crept into my professional life in the form of advertising copy, press releases, marketing analyses and more, creating an alternate career path that is still evolving to this day. Along the way, I also picked up photography, a love of history, singing, songwriting, dance, and even sword-fighting.

Since I was a lean, practically underweight nerd, never attracted to ‘real sports,’ I had to find another physical outlet that didn’t rely on strength, so fencing became a wonderful outlet for stress relief and even a sort of physical meditation. Though my current lifestyle has back-burned that a bit, I still try to fence once a week. I find that, for me, daily physical activity helps maintain daily motivation, so I take walks or do gardening tasks when I can’t pick up a sword as often as I’d like.

Other things that have caught my attention are video games, virtual reality, neuroscience, e-learning, nutrition, frugality, space travel, and… how we as humans can make life better for ourselves and future generations. To me, every day is a new opportunity to learn something new and share that knowledge with others.

Welcome to my point of view, and thank you for reading. Now I step into this new role, one foot at a time.

– Carrie


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