You know that friend who just can’t seem to stick to one thing? The one oozing creativity out of her pores? The one starting project after project, but never quite settling down? She’s a multi-passionate creative, and so am I.
Generally, we have a hard time choosing one line of work or passion to pursue, because we feel drawn to many creative outlets and have the desire to express them all. Unfortunately, being multi-passionate is not something that’s modeled as “success” in today’s society, which makes navigating our professional lives that much more difficult.
The good news is, we’re more ready than ever to embrace diversity in our culture. Take for instance the ongoing discussion about the difference between introverted and extroverted people. Ten years ago, it was a null topic, and now there are T-shirts that say “Introverts Unite.”
So why does being multi-passionate still make our society so uncomfortable? Why are we plagued by the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none?” There has to be a more inclusive outlook. In fact, the second part of the famous “master of none” couplet is often left out. The entire saying reads:
Chances are this is the first time you’ve heard the whole phrase, which speaks to the fact that our society only shines a light on one part of what it means to be multi-passionate. Without the full context, the “master of none” saying is an insult. Yet, when we take a step back and look at the big picture, we realize that all people are worthy of celebration. All of it is beautiful and every type of person is worthy of success. Period.
Across the board, business advice urges us to choose one thing and get really good at it before moving on to the next. Likewise, we’re told that “riches are in the niches,” and we ought to find our “thing” and stick to it. I’m not here to argue that those avenues don’t lead to success. It’s not my job to shame one way of thinking in order to glorify another. But guess what? For some of us choosing “one thing” is the same as telling us to do nothing at all.
Find one thing you’re good at and stick with it. Sounds easy enough, but for someone with varied interests and skills, choosing one thing means neglecting the rest. Let’s use my personal life experience as an example. I love to sing and compose music, I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I also can’t imagine a life where I’m not able to create visual artwork, from photography to painting, to professional doodling (it’s not a thing but let’s just pretend). Then there’s the crafter in me, handmade greeting cards are where my skill really shines, and I love a good DIY project. I also love having a blog, building a brand, and being an Etsy shop owner. I’m skilled in copywriting, content creation, and email marketing (sign up for my newsletter to see what I mean), and I love to cook. I’m doing all of these things consistently, and I’ve never been happier—but it wasn’t always this way.
Let’s look back just a few years ago: I knew I wanted to share my gifts with the world. The problem was, I would start a project and get very excited about it, then once I got to the midpoint where it felt like I had to choose if I was really dedicated to the idea, I would jump ship. The pressure of feeling like I had to pick one thing left me paralyzed. I thought something was wrong with me. I was a wishy-washy failure. I couldn’t stick with anything long enough to find success. That toxic cycle of thoughts made me feel stuck.
The majority of multi-passionate creatives I’ve spoken with experience this same wave of self-deprecating emotion. What’s worse is that our culture glorifies those who can easily choose one path to stick to, while ignoring the rest of us.
What shifted in me was that I finally stopped fighting it. I stopped trying to be only a singer, only a crafter, only a writer. I started this blog because I felt that having a platform to share all of my talents would give me an excuse to pursue them equally. The result has been a major growth in my self-confidence, a greater sense of purpose, and the peace of knowing that being multi-passionate is a gift that deserves to be celebrated. I’m not saying that starting a blog is the answer for everyone, but everyone deserves to feel that greater sense of purpose whether they have a solo passion or not.
We rarely run low on creative inspiration, and generally aren’t afraid of trying new things. The story of how I finally began to share my many gifts remains rare amongst many of the people I’ve spoken to. Most are still trying to force themselves into a single category. It’s time to change that.
I don’t want to show up at the multi-passionate party to find that only a handful of people are there. I want it to be a full-on rager with singers who also craft, writers who also dance, photographers who are also poets. All of us honoring our gifts and dipping into the punch bowl of creativity freely.
Being multi-passionate doesn’t mean that you lack focus, or the ability to follow through, or that success will never be yours. It does mean that you’ll have to be very confident in your decision to honor your many callings and be prepared for people to question you. It also means that you’ll need tools to help you overcome the self-doubt, shame, and confusion that comes from being a part of our culture that is left in the wings.
The thing to remember is this:
Being multi-passionate is a beautiful thing. It’s time to start celebrating it. I might even design a T-shirt for us.
Below are additional resources to support your creative journey. Please note that there are affiliate links included, and should you decide to purchase through any of them, there is no extra cost to you, but I will receive a small portion of the sale which helps keep my blog up and running. Thank you for your support.
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I hope I’ve convinced you that it’s time to start celebrating multi-passionate creatives. My mission with the Joi Knows How platform is to be a voice for those of us who choose to embrace and share our many gifts. I’m working on a ton of content that will be aimed at supporting you on your multi-passionate creative journey. I’m throwing that party I talked about earlier and you’re all invited. Sign up for my newsletter to get access to the interactive content that’s to come.
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Thank you so much for reading. If you enjoyed this post, please let me know in the comments and share it with a friend! Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to keep the celebration going.
Until next time, keep creating.
*All photography in this post was created by me and is the property of Joi-Knows-How.com, not to be used otherwise without consent. Thank you.