April 20, 2017

How to Write When You're Multi-Passionate

How to Write When You're Multi-Passionate

Do you ever feel like you have interests pulling you in a million different directions? Were you the kid who never had an answer for the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" because you wanted to do lots of things? Maybe you want to write, draw, dance- all at the same time. That may be because you have too much going on and need to cut back, or it could be because you are multi-passionate. Don't know what that is? Allow me to tell you, my friend.

Multi-passionate? What's that?

A multi-passionate, as far as I understand it, is when you have multiple interests. You don't just do one thing, or majorly focus your time on one thing. Instead, you enjoy doing all sorts of activities and pursuing several different interests.

I only learned about this myself when Hint of Jam posted about it on Instagram. She was talking about she was multi-passionate, and that's when I realized I was the same. I didn't know it was a thing, or that other people felt the way I did. It was really eye-opening for me.

I've never been one of those people who knew what they wanted to do from a young age. My mom wanted to be a teacher from age eight, and that's what she's been doing since high school. My sister wants to be a writer and hasn't changed her mind since she decided that. But I have lots of things I want to do. Be a writer, an artist, an Etsy seller, and more.

Maybe you're the same way. The way to tell, as best as I know, is to decided if you're truly passionate about each of the things you like to do. If you can't imagine dropping one of them, you're probably multi-passionate. If you could live without all but one or two, then you're probably not.

What does any of that have to do with writing?

Glad you asked. See, sometimes I feel a bit discourage with my writing because other people seem to be so much faster it than me. It's not because I'm a slow writer or don't devote enough time to it. I probably spend an hour or more on writing each day, between various things. Yet other writers can write and edit a novel in only a year or so, while I may work on one novel for several years to finish it.

But when I discovered being multi-passionate, that changed things for me. I realized that the reason my writing goes so slowly is because I'm trying to do a lot, so I don't have as much time to write as people who only do that. It took a great burden off of me. I'm still trying to remind myself of that and not be jealous of other writers, because we're all different.

So what does this have to do with you? Well, I'm going to show you how to balance writing and all your other interests, while also remaining sane. Ready to find out?

Balancing writing and everything else

First, remind yourself that just because it may take you longer to finish a novel, it doesn't mean you're not as good at writing. It just takes a little longer for people like us.

Second, decided what your priorities are at this point in your life. Not your whole life, just this year, the next six months, this quarter, this month. Whatever amount of time (under a year) that you want to look at. I suggest either the next three to six months. It's a small and manageable amount of time.

Make a list of everything that's important to you right now, as well as a list of your other responsibilities, the ones you can't get out of. Work, school, chores, etc. Then think carefully about them, and number them in order of importance to you right now, with one being the most important. That is the thing you'll give the most of your time to, after necessities, with the others getting as much time as they are far down the list.

Right now, my list looks like this. 1. Etsy, 2. Writing, 3. Blogging and music (yeah, I know I cheated a little) 4. Art, and 5. Sign language. I also wrote down some ideas of things I could cut out of my day, like too much social media scrolling and computer solitaire, to make more time for other things and a list of ways I could use my time best. Doing this helped me to discover what I needed to be focusing on and in what order.

At the end of the time you've planned for (3 months, 6 months, or whatever) do it again. Figure out where your priorities have shifted, and schedule your time to match.

Anyway, back to writing. Where ever it may fall on your list right now, always be sure to spend at least five minutes a day writing. There is always ways you can squeeze in time to write, whether it's on your commute or by staying up a little later each night. Do your best to take time to keep learning and practicing, despite whatever else you may have to, or want to, do.

If you feel like you want to do more writing and less of other things, simply rearrange your schedule. Plan your writing sessions for the time when you're most productive. Work for blocks of time or a certain amount of words. When you've accomplished your daily goal, then you can move on to the next thing.

And try to focus on one task at a time. I know when I try to multi-task and do two or three things at once, it's hard for me to get things done. It works better if you chose one thing to do, then only do that until it's done. Just a tip that I've discovered, and should adhere to more often.

Mostly, I just want to encourage you. There are other people out there like you, so don't feel alone. Don't let people who write their NaNoWriMo novel in three days get you down. Take your writing at your pace. Remember, the reason you're doing this is because you love it, and if you love something, you find a way to make time for it.

Let's talk! Are you a multi-passionate? What tips do you have for others who are feeling overwhelmed? Tell me in the comments.

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