This week’s chapter in On Being a Writer talks about making a choice to limit yourself to one major activity. The basic premise is, if you want to succeed in a given field, you need to make a choice as to what that field will be. You can’t be highly successful in two fields at once.
That makes sense to me you know? At least for the most part. I’ve heard about people who can do a great job at for instance running a business and also be a solidly good tennis player. Yet at the same time, the best tennis players, focus on their game to the downplay of everything else.
How to Choose
It’s not easy to choose you know? What if you have two loves? Or you have a crazy busy life filled with things you love to do? The bible tells us that a man can’t have two loves…you either love him or you don’t. Having divided loyalties means we can’t excel at loving the one thing we need to love.
Some practicalities might help though.
Make a list of all the things you love. Decide if they are “must do’s”, “like to do’s” or “necessary do’s”. Once you have that list, narrow down the must do’s to the one thing that is your passion. Make anything else secondary. Focus on that love. Do it to the best of your ability.
Never let your “one thing” be your only thing
Remember to keep your other interests alive. If you choose to be a writer, but also have a love of bunnies, love your bunnies too! 🙂 If you like to paint, paint. Just remember it’s not your first love, it’s not your focal point but an off-shoot of a life well lived. Those off-shoots in your life just broaden the scope of your main love.
Be Prepared for Change
Let’s say the choice you make is to be a writer. Your writing will be different when you are in your 20’s than when you are in your 30’s, 40’s or 70’s. The events you experience in your life will change the way you write. The trips you experience, the children you may raise, the people you let into your life, all these things will mold you. They will effect your outlook on life and as your perspective changes, so will your writing.The events you experience in your life will change the way you write. The trips you experience, the children you may raise, the people you let into your life, all these things will mold you. Click To Tweet
Consider well the things you do. See how they make you a better writer. Enjoy them, use them, be changed by them. Let your writing become broader and richer as a result.