Why I’m Trying To Keep “Speak Out” as Generic and Simple as Possible

Came across a great post today entitled My Thoughts on Speak Out with your Geek Out. In it, Donna explains how she is already outspoken about her hobbies and wasn’t initially buying into the event. Then, she goes on to talk about how passionate and positive we were, after reading two other posts, and how that struck her. She’s now on board.

Donna is not alone. Many people have stepped forward (as of right now we’re over 600 bloggers on Facebook…). In part, that number has a lot to do with Amanda Yahner Valentine and Jessica Banks who have been filling the event page with their enthusiasm. Though, what’s been interesting is that not everyone has been super excited about the project off the bat. Some were looking for keywords: what defines geek? Others were saying they did this already. But this event is not about what we’re already doing, it’s about what we’re not. And for that, I was thrilled to see Donna’s realization that this may just be something different after all.

I laughed when Donna mentioned her sock collection because I have one, too. While both of us may be perfectly fine with that, there are so, so many people I know out there who aren’t. They are afraid of being isolated or having a stigma for doing what they do — kids and adults. Am I geektastic about my socks? Absolutely. But that’s not all there is to me, just like what Donna had mentioned in her post. We are not just one kind of geek; often, we are many flavors.

For all these reasons and more, this is why I am trying to keep the event as generic as possible.

I hope this week of positivity and light will inspire people to do and say some very awesome things. Which is why I can’t and will continue to strive not to define what geek is. The minute I put a keyword in there, is the minute someone either says: “Well, you’re not including my hobby…” or “You did include my hobby.” is the minute we go down the road of elitism, exclusion and isolation. Instead? What this is all about? That one thing, that one precious thing that is tying us all together — OUR ENTHUSIASM.

The reason why I’m attempting to keep this as simple as possible, is because the more complicated this is, the harder it will be for people to participate and the more challenging it will be to manage. If you don’t have a blog or website, there are many people who’d be willing to host your post, including me. I expect there will be some commentary about geek culture and whatnot that comes out of this, but I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. Maybe all it takes is a little smile and a bunch of happy people to let us look a little deeper into ourselves and realize that maybe, just maybe, we’re not so different after all.

I, for one, am looking forward to seeing all these posts fly. Not just because of the people who share similar interests, but the ones who don’t. I’d love to read more about unique hobbies because hey, maybe one of you will inspire me to try yours.

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Monica Valentinelli is an author, artist, and narrative designer who writes about magic, mystery, and mayhem. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore near you.

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