Last week on Medium my article, Your Blog lacks focus and direction, got published by The Writing Cooperative and the response really affirmed my position on having and embracing as many passions as possible.
I have been unable to settle on one path almost my entire adulthood. As a medic who is currently non-practising, I’ve always gone in and out of this career perhaps to debunk that
Perhaps it has a lot to do with the perils of job hunting with minimal success. But also, I was not content with my choices. When will Universities – Home of cram and go – start teaching students how to major in finding the damn purpose and passion?
When in, it has been fulfilling. When out, it has been eye-opening. So you can imagine the dilemma (or supposed indecisiveness and lack of commitment for the guys at the back) I subject myself to. I love writing. I know I can do both if time is flexible enough.
I know I do not have to choose that one thing that apparently defines me and deny all of my other passions when I can easily be a multipotentialite as Emilie Wapnick puts it.
In this illuminating TED talk, she asks what becomes of you if your problem isn’t that you don’t have any interests but that you have too many interests. She also talks of how easier it is as a multipotentialite to navigate the beginner stage of learning a new skill since you’ve been there before. You accumulate skills and proficiency faster. A must watch if you get bored and move on to the next appealing project.
She also has a book out.
The conversation around Joanna Kinuthia’s viral post – that truly scales digital influence in Kenya – about why viewers click off a Youtube video has been thoroughly exhausted by the onslaught of takes. Yet the battles remain. What was particularly striking to me was how the content creators were told to pick a struggle (one) and stick to it. To nip manufactured authenticity in the bud and be true to themselves and their target audience. To not talk about tech stuff yet they’re essentially beauty vloggers as Felicia opines “they don’t have the range.”
At what point does content creation move from creating what you absolutely love and are passionate about
I have tried boxing myself into one thing and failed terribly. It gets real when an online platform asks you to categorize your website and you click on the dropdown crossing fingers that ‘Others’ is listed. I mean it’s normal to be curious about multiple topics – bonus points to the ones that actually stick.
Granted, I would understand somebody clicking off your video if all along your channel was only about fashion then one day you start reviewing cars. Where is this coming from? Part of the audience would feel cheated. But I don’t agree with this notion that you must package yourself as one entity since it’s easier to achieve success with a specific niche. Take a look at your top celebrities, how many creative pursuits are they juggling aside from their recent entrepreneurial venture? Aren’t they dripping literal success from multiple income streams?
Your fave influencer started out as a stylist and is suddenly reviewing and hawking cars on her carefully collated Instagram grid.
*insert Soulja Boy’s disgust here*
This week’s vlog is about her Europe travel escapades and next week’s video is a tutorial on how to Prepoo and wash wigs when you’re too busy being a content creator. A reach but you get the point. Isn’t that the reason why we pick up new skills or interests? To learn and perhaps evolve as we impart verifiable knowledge whenever we can? She doesn’t just breathe Toi haul outfits and branded accessories every minute, does she?
I’ll also admit that if I want to buy a phone I check out the MKBHDs of this world. Not necessarily for specs only but for the built trust and authority they command on anything tech after years of putting in the work. I bet no one took them seriously either when they had just started. So I understand the cynicism especially when an influencer
I do appreciate wanting to be an authority in only one field. Spending all your time and resources on one topic will obviously make you a specialist soon enough. This makes it easier for people to have faith in your work and refer you as well.
An admirable feat.
Having loads of passion projects meanwhile opens you up to endless opportunities which if explored, can offer up rich knowledge in several topics. Who wouldn’t want that? Let me tell you running my blog has made me believe I could be anything really. Especially on days when I’m not self-sabotaging from imposter syndrome.
I can be the able editor, magnificent graphic designer, deep work researcher, idea machine, part-time digital strategist, occasional tech guy and soon to add Peter-McKinnon-taught photographer. Outsourcing when starting out in the blog market isn’t feasible unless you have a steady stream of cash. WordPress as a platform has taught me so much that my desire to self teach coding has gone up the learning new skills ladder.
What do you think will become of these new found skills and passion? I say go forth and prosper. You never know just when the skills will come in handy. You never know when you’ll creatively integrate your interests while defining what you aim to achieve. Transferring knowledge and skills from one area to solve a totally unrelated problem is how new ideas are birthed. Learning how to build your life (and career) around all your interests is my lifetime goal.
Scary commitments and pursuits are equally exciting. Craft your days with creative rituals that take you a step closer to achieving your full potential. And watch yourself thrive.
Live a life driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic.
For all ye multipotentialites looking for a place to call home as you find the overarching theme from the patterns in interests that appeal to you, this community is a good place to start.