“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay”
– Mark Twain
These days, I’m in the middle of a big project. Well, more specifically, it’s several projects that are all interrelated. OK, actually I’ll be honest, the the only thing these projects have in common is that they are blog related and part of my overall scheme to see some profit from blogging in a ‘professional’ and very focused manner. Sounds good except for one problem: my creativity does not afford my mind the luxury of being able to ‘stay the course’ and focus on one thing at a time.
Regardless of the above, a wise man, expert in the ways of blogging, told me to focus on 1 thing at a time. He suggested I give 100% of my effort and attention to one blog, as opposed to 20% of my energy to 5 different projects. Easily enough said, and of course in all my born years I’ve heard that many times over. In fact, you’d think that by now, I’d know better. Apparently not! Yet, I do believe I have ‘just cause’ for dismissing such well-intentioned advice. Let me explain:
I have an active mind. Sometimes too overactive for my own good! I get ‘ideas’ for topics to write about that don’t just ‘occur to me’, they actually possess me to spill them out into the corporeal world. Some of these ideas are silly, others are rational, sane and professional oriented. On this blog for example, I like to mix psychology with surrealism, health and neurosis, current affairs with the absurd, humanism with chaos theory, and Woody Allen with Henry Miller. On another blog I have, I write as an EFL teacher trainer. I dispense humanistic advice, tips and tricks for the personal and professional development of language teachers. On yet another blog, I offer blogging advice to would be bloggers, albeit with a fair amount of self-deprecating humor. On still another blog… well, let’s just say, I’m not me.
These blogs, like the music I write, are all extensions of my creativity. And, being creative not only means allowing ones thoughts to dictate ones ‘art’ but also refraining from self-censorship and self-repression. Regardless of whether I have an idea for integrating cross-curricular teaching approaches with critical thinking skills (pregnant pause) or free associating Sarah Palin with Genghis Khan and a power-tool, I most certainly do take full poetic license in expressing myself and revel in exercising my freedom of speech. I consider that engaging in self-censorship and conforming my thoughts and expression to meet the expectations of others is pretty much nihilistic.
Bearing this mind, you can understand why I need various outlets for my creativity, ideas, notions, ramblings, rants, and so forth. There is a place for everything, even brain-fart musings. However, since I’m not only interested in speaking, but also being heard, and hopefully commented to, having several ‘store fronts’, if you will, also helps foster discussion. Having different channels of communication makes it easier for people to practice their freedom of choice in at least a semi-coherent fashion.
For example, if you want to read about developing ‘second language reading skills’ at proficiency level, I doubt you’d also be interested in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or pseudo-intellectual babble about ‘Dr. Boudreaux Butt-Paste‘. You would prefer a steady stream of targeted programming. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think this is why we, as a society, created cable-television; ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and ‘Dancing With The Stars’ just don’t work back to back. Know what I mean? I think you do.
Off-Road Digressive Rambling:
That being said, there is always the danger of going to extremes. In this respect, I’m not sure why so many are hell-bent on pigeon-holding everything and everyone they come into contact with. It’s almost as if there’s a certain insecurity many possess due to their not having control over all they experience in life.
One possible consequence of this is our society’s systems of education. Today, possibly for nefarious commercial reasons, we preach to children that specialists are more valued than well-rounded individuals. Students desiring to major in ‘Liberal Arts’ are branded ‘under-achievers’ or ‘artsy fartsy wooly types’. Psychology majors must be able to fit very neatly into one of the thousands of splinter disciplines for licensing purposes. Mental health counselors must not practice family counseling, etc. It’s no wonder I know several people with doctorate degrees who work at Starbucks and Pizza Hut!
As a person, I’m multitalented and multiskilled. And, I am so because I have many different interests and have pursued those interests. I’m certainly not a one dimensional person. I doubt that many people are. And, as such there is no reason to assume that my writing or writing/creative projects would not be multidimensional, as well.
Moreover, in my working experience, I’ve yet to find one talent or skill set that I possess that I’ve really been able to make a ‘go’ of and to enable me to bring home some significant ‘bacon’. Over the years, I’ve kept my ‘head above the water’ to some extent (translation: barely) by being able to apply my different skills and talents to a variety of occupations, projects, opportunities, etc. For better or worse, that’s the way it’s been. It’s not what I planned on, but it is what it is.
Epilogue (Post Ramble):
Having written all of the above, I must confess I have a certain melancholy feeling. Tripping your way through life is hard enough without others stepping on your toes and commenting in kind. While on one hand I’m happy with who I am, but on the other hand I am unhappy with my life’s circumstances. I’m left to wonder who I am, where I came from, and most importantly where I might be going. Actually, it sounds like the status quo of just another ordinary day in the life of (fill-in the blank here). Crap! Now I’m thoroughly depressed. Anyone know any good Sarah Palin jokes, you know, just for the ‘lulz‘?
PS: Thanks for reading! By the way, another man, also wise in the ways of blogging, suggested that a blog isn’t just about ‘writing’. He then asked what other ‘jobs’ a blogger needs to be good at. I replied: “multitasking: typing with one hand, eating pizza with the other, and watching TV with at least one eye!” I welcome you to share your thoughts with me. Please!