Great at One or Good at Many?

My 27th birthday came and went last week. To be honest, I sometimes forget exactly how old I am. If asked, I will undoubtedly pause and think about it. And then Josh will correct me when I guess wrong. (In my defense, I’m usually only a year off. They all started to blend together after 23.)

Anyway. I’ve been struggling for a couple months now with my various activities — Design, Illustration, and Writing — and how they affect my life and balance with one another. And there’s a battle going on.

Design will always be Priority #1. It’s not only my bread and butter, but I lurve it. I love creating visual solutions, and drooling over other people’s work. Package design, a good logo, a beautifully integrated illustration or an amazing commercial… it all makes me warm and fuzzy inside. There are so many wonderful ways to conquer the same problem — that is, communicate a message in a unique and memorable way — and I haven’t found them all yet. There’s nothing else I’d rather spend 40 - 60 hours a week doing. Illustration is that back-burner love that has fallen back into my lap, which is lovely. And writing is something I’ve been doing for years, and I’m only recently feeling ready to explore the professional end of it.

This is where my conflict lies. I have three things that I love to do, and so I divide my time amongst those three occupations. I understand the idea of wearing many different hats, and I’ve been juggling all three competently enough. But does splitting my time between those three somehow rob one of them of the potential to be the best it can be?

For example: if I’m never published, will it be because I didn’t give writing the due concentration it needed?

I never want to stop pushing myself, and I love them all. But I have to wonder if I’m sacrificing the quality of one to pursue the others. So what matters most here? Quality? Or quantity? I would usually say quality… but when the quantity is improving the quality of life as a whole… where does that leave things?

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This is heavy thought for a beautiful Friday. Let’s have a donut.

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