|I'm a homemaker, and a teacher|
So what do I do and what does any of this have to do with changing the name of this blog?
I started writing a blog back in 2003. The title at the time was Berto is Sir Rantalot, a moniker bestowed upon me one summer at Shakespeare camp . (Did I mention I'm a nerd?) I stopped writing for a while and when I came back I kept the BISR concept in the URL for this current incarnation. In the mean time I had learned about something called Google and had used it find that a lot of people used "Sir Rantalot." So I changed the name, but didn't do any more Googling. I had always liked the idea of presenting rants because they could be emotional. There wasn't as much pressure to be 100% factually accurate with every post. I wanted to maintain that idea with the new name. I landed on Rantom Thoughts. I thought I was very clever and since I didn't really have any readers anymore I didn't think the name mattered to anyone but me.
|I'm a husband, and a stay at home dad|
The problem is, I clearly suck at coming up with names. So I reached out to my friends and fellow writers for help. I got a lot of fun name suggestions and one piece of very good advice:
"If you're thinking about a rename, don't start with just trying to think of a new name. Start by really defining what you've done so far and your future goals with your blog. Think about your voice and personality of the blog. Is there a specific direction your blog leans in or is it very general stuff? Work on a list of what makes your blog unique. Once you know exactly what it is and where you want it to go, then call it something that fits that tone."So I started thinking. The writing here has started to trend towards parenting issues. I think that's natural given my current role as a stay at home dad. But I don't want to be just a "dad blogger." Not that I want to throw shade at my fellow dad bloggers, because I am a dad blogger. But I also wanted to maintain the freedom to write about sports and politics and to dabble in fiction and whatever else came to mind. So I started thinking about who I am, and who I want to be.
Which brings me back to the question, "What do you do?" and why it's hard to answer.
When I was young I was an actor. I loved acting because it gave me a taste of other people's lives. I didn't want to have one job in one place doing one thing. I wanted every job. I wanted to be a police officer and a fireman and a lawyer and an astronaut and an archaeologist. But I didn't really want to do the work of any of those, I just wanted the experience. Acting gave me that right up until I did a serious self assessment and realized I probably wasn't going to be able to make a career of that either.
|I'm an interpreter|
|I'm a researcher|
I'm also not an interpreter anymore. I left full time interpreting to pursue a PhD in interpreting pedagogy and research. One of the issues I faced starting early in my career was that my research didn't follow one thread. I wanted to research interesting questions rather than focus on one sub-field. This is fun, except when people ask me what my research is about. I struggle for a catch all title. I have studied idioms, lexical innovation, cognition, and LOL-speak. I say that I research "novel and emerging language use," but that's not a real descriptive title. It's too general.
|I'm a student|
That's who I want to be as a writer also. I want to write about interesting questions. So the answer to who I am and what I want this blog to be is complicated.
|I'm a player, and a referee|
I'm a freelance academic.
I'm a teacher.
I'm a student.
I'm a researcher.
I'm a sports fan.
I'm an American.
I'm an interpreter.
I'm a husband.
I'm a rugby player.
I'm a referee.
I'm a coach.
I am all of those things in different amounts each day. The answer to "What do you do?" depends as much on my audience at the moment as it does on what I did the most of that day. Who I am to you depends on our relationship.
I lead an interdisciplinary life; as an academic, as a professional, as a writer. So that's what I settled on for a title. (I Googled it, no one else is using it.) It's funny. Just yesterday someone asked me what I do. I'd never met them before, and I'll probably never meet them again. I don't know why, but despite having several published works and throwing thoughts at the internet for twelve years, for the first time in my life I answered, "I'm a writer."