#IWSG: The Spice of Life

Hello, friends!  Welcome to this month’s meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog hop created by Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosted this month by Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon.  To learn more about this amazingly supportive group, click here!

“Do one thing and do it well.”  I’ve heard this aphorism over and over again throughout my life, and there’s a certain common sense simplicity to it that I find appealing.  Whenever life gets complicated and I feel like I’m being pulled in too many directions at once, I really wish I could pick just one thing to do—I wish I could be permitted to focus all my time and energy on just one thing, without any distractions, so that I could have a chance to do that one thing exceptionally well.

Last month, I participated in the A to Z Challenge.  For anyone who doesn’t know, the A to Z Challenge is a month-long blogging event.  Participants post twenty-six blog posts, one for each successive letter of the alphabet.  All of my posts were about humanity’s future in outer space, or perhaps I should say humanity’s potential future in outer space.  Our species has so much potential!  But I do realize there’s no guarantee that we’ll live up to our potential, though.

In order to ensure my success with the challenge, I canceled any other plans I’d made in the month of April.  I used up a bunch of vacation days at my job.  I made sure I got my taxes done super early this year.  I put a few of my other creative projects on hold, temporarily.  I engineered my whole schedule so that I would able to do just this one thing: blogging.  Did I do it well?  That’s a subjective thing, of course, but I feel that I did the best I possibly could on most of my posts.  And it felt good.

However, there came a point when I started to miss working on my other creative projects.  Being able to “do one thing and do it well” feels nice, but to really thrive, I need variety in my creative life.  My muse was kind enough to hold back on new ideas during the A to Z Challenge.  Now, however, there’s a backlog of ideas that my muse would like me to work on—and I am eager to get to work on those new ideas!

“Do one thing and do it well” can be good advice, for a short time.  When life gets complicated, sometimes we need to stop and have the simplicity of doing one and only one thing for a while.  But when I think about my lifelong goals, when I think about my own future as a writer/artist/blogger, there’s a different aphorism that I’d rather live by: “Variety is the spice of life.”

19 thoughts on “#IWSG: The Spice of Life

  1. I can relate. I hate distractions. If I didn’t have a day job, I would write non-stop for weeks, only pausing to eat, and to shower when I began to smell. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Doing just one thing, well or otherwise, has never really worked for me. I get bored too easily. All things in moderation. The key for each of us, I think, is finding our personal sweet spot between dedication and variety.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m like you James, with a constant & ever-changing array of things I love doing. It is incredibly hard to balance my time & energy. The problem is excluding some of those things causes me such distress, that the knock-on effect it has on everything else is even worse than the frantic juggling. Periods of laser focus on one thing at a time, before moving on to the next one, is the only solution I’ve come to so far.

    @DebsDespatches visiting this time from
    Fiction Can Be Fun

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Finding the right balance is really hard. I like to think that there are these different versions of me: blogger me, Sci-Fi writer me, good friend me, Lego collector me, and so on and so forth. Each version of me is valid and real, but I can’t possibly be all of these different mes at the same time. The best I can do is try to make sure each “me” gets a turn. But it’s still really hard to get that balance right.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think one of the hardest things we have to do in this life is to figure out what gives us joy, what is worth pouring our energy into, and then allow ourselves to do that thing. If variety is what lights you up then go for it!

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  5. You sound like you had your schedule for the A to Z challenge planned out really well.

    Yes, I also need variety in my life, including my writing life. I can’t just do one thing all the time without getting bored or feeling monotonous. Yet, when I have to prioritize due to limited time that’s when I have to limit myself to one project or task or it won’t get done. Yet I know it’s temporary.

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    1. Knowing that it’s temporary helps, I think. I know in the past, whenever I’ve tried to lock myself into doing just one thing without any definitive end date, it has not gone well for me.


    1. Actually, I think I got that from some article I read about Scott Kelly. It’s definitely an interesting way to think about alien life in the universe, though.


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