Community. Engagement. Advocacy. Humor.
In my search for the future, I realize that my past has had many signposts along the way that said ‘stay on this road’. But in my polymathic psyche, I couldn’t do it. When I started my own flute, a major dealer in the UK picked them up and we were on the path to being a successful player in the industry. But I took a different tack because I didn’t really want to be an employer/manufacturer. I sold 2 novels to a major children’s publisher and they wanted more but I didn’t want to lead the life of a kid’s writer who makes most of their living visiting schools. I had an agent handling my movie scripts and almost had a movie contract - and if I’d focused on screenwriting, might have broken through.
I recognize other times I’ve been on that threshold but these are 3 major turning points in my career path that determined what I wouldn’t do but didn’t really determine what I would do. While I didn’t consciously decide this, I think my polymathelogical mind kept telling me that too much focus in one place would darken the doorway of others. I wanted it all and ended up with only a taste of each. That’s where I find myself now: looking at all those unfinished threads of the past and wondering if they might still go through a needle that I may suture them to my future.
I don’t have regrets about the divergent paths that I have taken. By having a varied imagination, I realize that, unlike many who do climb the ladder of a particular success, I have achieved limited success by not being razor focused on a single goal.
I imagine that I may be describing some fellow readers of this blog who suffer the same disease called ‘too-many-interesting-things-to-do-and-too-little-time’ (I don’t know the Latin term). I stayed with flutes through the years because they paid the bills. I carved a new niche market for flutes as art so that I might have some creative freedom and not be confined to the role of manufacturer. Others are starting to follow in their own way, which implies that I’ve created an open market. I’m starting to see real success with it and I’m feeding it lots of plant food to grow. But will I heed the road sign this time? I still yearn for writing, the sciences, politics and all the other itches that a poly-glutton needs for sustenance.
As I am contemplating the reinvention of my own professional paths, I appreciate this post. Thank you for sharing.
It seems that many artists spend the first half of their career "finding their voice", (aka doing the same stuff over and over and over again) and the second half trying not to be pigeon-holed by it. Then there are eclectic ones. Doesn't matter which path you're on, there will always be a little nagging voice in the back of your brain saying you should be on the other one.
Can't wait to see Harriete 2.0 = )