In my life, I have been a singer, a dancer, an actress, a director, a playwright, a screenwriter, a spotlight operator, an author, a poet, a keyboardist, a guitarist, and a songwriter. Nowadays, I’m mostly just an author and freelance writer, but sometimes I still pick up my guitar. I will hopefully write plays and poems and screenplays in the near future. And maybe someday, I’ll even play an open mic again or write and record music. The only thing I haven’t really done much of is visual art although I have painted a few things in the past, and I’m obsessed with those adult coloring books these days. (Most people would not classify coloring as art, but I would disagree.) I have always worn many hats and loved art in different mediums. One of the reasons I started this blog was to explore and honor all types of art/creativity.
Throughout my life, some people have always given me the advice to just pick one thing and focus on it. I get the thought process here. You can dig a lot deeper if you’re just digging one hole instead of many. Yeah, yeah, I know. And I suppose I have done that to some extent. Four years ago, I essentially gave up being an active Atlanta musician so that I could focus on my writing. But that doesn’t mean I won’t play music again one day.
And what does “focus on my writing” really mean? Sure, right now, I’m mainly just writing YA urban fantasy, but I have all sorts of ideas for different genres I want to try. Who knows when I’m going to be inspired to write another play or a collection of poems. And creatively, I’m mainly focused on the YA urban fantasy, but I also write non-fiction about writing and creativity (as seen here) and I also write a lot of freelance web content for various clients about various topics.
Even with my Instagram or my YouTube channel, I’ve gotten the advice to pick “one thing” for it to be about. But I can’t. On YouTube and Instagram, I post videos and photos about my writing, writing tips, my favorite music, and my favorite books. Do I have fewer followers than Instagram accounts that are specifically about music or YouTube accounts that are specifically about books? Probably. But I love talking about those things on social media.
I could even go a step further and talk about my religious/spiritual beliefs. I’ve been feeling a little conflicted because I have attended a Unity church for the past ten years or so, but lately, I’ve also been attending a much more traditional Christian church, mainly because I love the music. My husband and I have been going to both churches recently. And I keep hearing this voice in my head that says “but you have to pick one!” But the other day, I realized that that’s not true.
Have I really ever been able to just “pick one thing” anywhere in my life? Not really. But what if that’s okay? What if it’s okay to explore many different paths in art and in life? I think that’s how you find your voice as an artist. And with every song I ever wrote, I became a better poet. With every play I ever wrote, I understood the art of acting better. With every novel I ever wrote, I understood a form of storytelling that made me write better songs. It’s all connected.
So yes, I do believe that sometimes it makes sense to focus more on one thing. But I don’t think you should ever feel like you have to “just pick one” forever.
So I say let’s all be Renaissance people. Let’s create the things we’re inspired to create and love the things we love. And let’s never limit ourselves to just one thing, just one art form, just one perspective. Because there is so much more to art, creativity, and life than just one thing.