Staying Focused and Branching Out – Are Both Possible?

Focus is both a strength and a weakness of mine.

When I am involved in a project, and determined to see it through to completion, my focus is incredible.

But I also have so many interests, that it is easy for me to lose focus and go off in new directions before I have finished a long task.

Completing projects is a skill I’ve worked at for a long time.  It takes discipline, and it is so satisfying to present a finished work to the world.

But here’s the catch:  projects I’ve completed include

  • Mrs. Middlejoy Chapter Books, written and published
  • Read-Aloud, Read-Along Books of poetry and stories, written and published
  • An adult reader for students of English as a foreign language.
  • Children’s Songs written, arranged, published and recorded as sheet music or video
  • Songs–both my own and covers of pop/country/jazz standards–recorded and posted on ReverbNation.
  • Videos of my songs – or ways of teaching others’ songs for children.
  • Books edited, formatted and published for others
  • Websites designed, and kept up for church and volunteer groups
  • A family history site with photo essays featuring my mom and dad
  • Free-lance articles with web content as varied as plumbing and home-health nurses.

And right now, I’m involved in blogging daily about a 21-Day weight loss challenge I’ve taken on.  Not to mention crafting comments for my Facebook friends and daily tutoring of English as a foreign language with a lot of them.

Does that satisfy my urge for creativity? 

In many, many ways yes.  But there is always that unfinished project, that new idea that could really go somewhere….

So I ask:  Is it even possible to stay focused and still branch out into new creative areas?

I’d love to hear what my friends think.  Please comment!

About Susan Call Hutchison

A retired educator, a current homemaker, and a life-long musician, I have written, arranged and performed music and directed choirs for decades. I love learning almost as much as teaching. I took up my dream instrument, violin/fiddle, at the age of 65. My blog and digital sheet music store,"Good Old Tunes," grew out of my search for easy-to-play tunes and well-harmonized duets. In addition to arranging music, I am also a self-publishing author and editor. My books include the "Read-Aloud, Read-Along" series and "Mrs. Middlejoy's Church Mouse Adventures" chapter books.
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12 Responses to Staying Focused and Branching Out – Are Both Possible?

  1. I’ve found it better not to spread myself too thin or my writing suffers, but I’ve wondered too if I could handle two creative outlets such as visual art and mostly fiction writing. With the right balance I think I would feel fulfilled.

    • It is a matter of fulfillment, isn’t it? I write, and always will. But if I gave up writing songs to concentrate on my writing I would miss it too much. The parable of the talents seems to apply, too. If I bury a talent, it can’t increase. And one day, when I have to account for what I did with my life, there are certain things I want on my list of accomplishments.

  2. That’s a good way of looking at it, Susan, to hold yourself to a standard you can look back on and be proud of.

  3. Susan I have too many projects on the boil at the moment but my creative vibe jumps from one to the other. I want to do them all. Most people tell me I can’t. But we are all different aren’t we? What works for one person will not work for all. And so I keep plodding along, learning the skills that hopefully see me through my dreams. I have noticed the more I learn, the more it feels like its too hard. I recognise this as the negative block that tries to stop us living the dream and I know hard work will get me there. You amaze me with what you have achieved already. I say go for it.

    • Wow, Kath, don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do what you dream of. I happen to know that you can. It can take organization, and maybe some things will–and should–wait for a time later in life when children aren’t the most important demand on your time. But I know you will do what you decide to do!

  4. L. Palmer says:

    I think it is about finding a careful balance – of pushing different parts of ourselves. I like to try to commit to a single project as my main project, but go on brief mini-trips down other creative paths to keep myself fresh and step away from my main work.

  5. April Eight says:

    Branching out and not focusing is my strength and weakness. Isn’t it funny how we all are. Sorry we haven’t heard from you in awhile. I hope all is well. xoxoxooxo

    • Thank you April Eight! Right now, I’m a full-time care-giver for my elderly father, who has been going through a lot of health challenges. Guess I’m grateful I am able to be focused as a caregiver! Hope your music and creative projects are going well. Are you doing any summer camps?

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