By J.J. Long
(Image credit: Pexels.com)
Over the past few weeks I’ve been really struggling with the fact that I want to do too many creative projects all at once and I’m realizing that it’s just not humanly possible. You only have so much time during the day and although somedays you’ll be able to juggle many balls in the air, over the long term it’s just not sustainable.
Believe me, this was a big bummer when I realized this. I used to always pride myself on being unshakable and being able to manage a variety of creative projects at once. I think it’s an admirable mission, but in reality, you’re spreading yourself too thin and you won’t be able to produce your best work. Below are some thoughts to help guide you during your own multi-passionate dilemma.
1. Realize You Can Do It All…But Over Time
I still firmly believe you can do it all, things just take time to build. Instead of doing everything all at once, develop the mindset to move from project to project. If you’re trying to run a business, write a book, cut a music album, act in a play, and prepare for an art exhibit in the same month, chances are the wheels are going to fall off and your going to crash and burn with at least a few of those projects.
Instead of taking on too much at once, try to focus on one or two major projects and maybe slowly do a third project on the side that will accumulate over time. So, for the above example, maybe you can focus on running your business full time and prepare for the art exhibit, but slowly write a couple pages of your fiction book every night, while completely putting off the music album and acting in the play for when you have less on your plate. After a couple of months, you might have a full-length book on your hands, and you would have accomplished this with ease and less stress on your shoulders than if you had tried to bite off more than you could chew.
2. How Do You Choose?
Choosing which creative project(s) to focus on can be difficult, especially if you find everything equally fulfilling (I have this issue as well). What’s really happening is FOMO, or the fear of missing out. You’re anxious to do everything at once because you don’t want to miss out on other creative projects passing you by. But, what you have to realize is that you’re in control and you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to your own artistic fulfillment. In the grand scheme of things, do you think it will really matter if you put the music album on hold for 6 months while you focus on writing an epic fiction novel? Or vice a versa? If you’re honest with your followers and supporters, they will wait for your next creative project and will most likely be understanding since they know you’re only one person and can only create so much content at once.
If you’re on the fence with what creative project to choose because you find all art equally fulfilling, then there are a couple of ways to narrow down what move to make. First, if you do some deep soul searching, I’m sure there’s one creative project that’s calling to you more than the others in this moment in time. Even if it’s 1% more, your heart will never lead you astray. Second, maybe choose the creative path that is going to help reward you more financially (if that is a priority on your list). Thirdly, maybe choose the creative path that will challenge you this most, so you will grow and transform from the work (also if that is a priority on your list). And lastly, you can do the good ole “Pros & Cons List” and see which creative passion has the most positive things listed in this moment in time.
3. When Do You Switch?
It’s time to switch to a new creative project when your current project is finished or if your current project isn’t fulfilling you anymore. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a creative project that doesn’t fulfill you like it used to do. There is nothing wrong with this by the way. You just need to step back and put this creative passion back on the shelf until your re-energized to pursue it again.
Another time to switch is maybe when there’s a demand for you to switch from your followers and supporters. If you’re not producing the content that they desire, you don’t want to lose them as avid supporters and it might be time for you to put the fiction novel down, so you can produce a new music album. Or, you can always let your followers know what your plans are and tell them that in 2 months after you’ve written your novel that you’ll begin production on a new CD so stay tuned! As long as your communicative with your followers, they well understand your desire to switch from project to project and will be more likely to continue to support you in whatever creative endeavors you pursue.
To Wrap Up
The multi-passionate dilemma is something us artists deal with a lot. When you’re a diversified artist, it’s easy to get sidetracked with many projects at once, but if you understand that you should be moving project to project, should narrow your focus to the one art form that’s calling to you most, and only switch when you feel unfulfilled or when your followers want you to, the dilemma tends to unravel itself smoothly and with less stress. What are some other tips and tricks you use to overcome the multi-passionate dilemma? I’d love to hear your ideas! To leave a comment, click on the blue “comments” link underneath the Facebook and Twitter buttons where you can leave a reply. Thanks for tuning in friends!
J.J. Long is the founder and CEO of JJArtworks. J.J. has been professionally painting, singing, acting, writing, teaching, and doing voiceovers for over 13 years. The purpose of our blog is to help artists thrive in their own businesses by sharing valuable and sincere content.