I love many things about being a creator in this glorious future we inhabit. There are so many tools, opportunities, and ways to connect with your audience and other creators that it’s just amazing. There’s only one drawback to the whole situation. It can be overwhelming.
I put together a list once of all the projects I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of over the last fifteen years, and in looking at it I was blown away at the number of hats I’ve worn. I’ve been a podcaster, an audio engineer, a blogger, an interviewer, an editor, a cover designer, a publisher, a reviewer, and a voice actor.
Mind you, I’m not saying I’ve done all of these things well. And that’s sort of what this post is about. When you do what Nutty and I have done, and you’ve donned so many hats, there comes a time to decide what hats don’t fit your personality, your head, and/or your budget. For example, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m comfortable saying that I’m not good at the visual end of things, so I spend money and hire people like Scott Pond or my lovely host. There are people out there who are much better at voice acting than I am. Veronica Giguere practically leaps to mind. There are better and more consistent bloggers, reviewers, and audio engineers. They have all followed their passions and excel at what they do. To that end, these days I am focusing most of my energy these days on writing, publishing anthologies like Dead Ends and Down To Earth, and podcasting.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be spending some time in bettering myself at things like graphic arts. It likely won’t ever become anything more than a hobby (though that’s how writing started), but I like stretching myself and seeing what happens. I’ve got to be careful though not to overdo it. Losing focus and letting priorities slip can be costly in terms of both time and money. I have to ask if time doing these other things is time better spent in writing or podcasting. Those are the areas I want to use to build a new career. All of this so far has also left out a number of even more important things. As is the case with so many of my creative friends, I have a day job, a family, and a social life. I need to include these things in my list of priorities and make sure that none of those things suffer in the pursuit of my art.
So how do I do it? One key word for me is passion. I love my family, my free time, my writing, and podcasting. The idea of getting better as a dad, a husband, a writer, and a podcaster all appeal to me. If that passion is there, then the drive to get better at it is also there. The word priority has also come up more than once. Depending on your personality, a physical list of priorities may be called for, or it may be enough to have a mental checklist. Finally, the people closest to me are also key in achieving this balance. I make sure to listen to my wife and some close friends when they tell me I’m spreading myself too thin. Just like having a trusted friend who can tell you that your hat makes you look like a clown college reject.
Enough about me. How do you do it?
Some creatures feed on blood and revel in the screams of their prey. Scott Roche craves only caffeine and the clacking of keys. He pays his bills doing the grunt work no one else wants to take, bringing dead electronics back to life and working arcane wonders with software. His true passion is hammering out words that become anything from tales that terrify to futuristic worlds of wonder. All that and turning three children into a private mercenary army make for a life filled with adventure.