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I was recently asked this question, and it’s an interesting one.
People see that I do many things and am also good at more than one.
So, how do I describe what I do? How do I choose what to focus on? What exactly is it that I’m out to accomplish?
Although there are no concrete, hard and fast answers, here is my perspective on the matter.
What’s in a Title?
I have used more than a few titles to describe what I do over the years – multimedia designer, new media designer, content creator, author/entrepreneur/musician, and so on.
And depending on what I was working on at the time, these titles may have been accurate, to lesser and greater degrees.
But if you’re asking this question, you probably understand my struggle. I haven’t found a definitive umbrella term for what I do, and there are many terms that logically ring true, but don’t entirely sit right. Like the following:
- Generalist. A generalist is generally a Jack or Jill of all, but a master of none. I have 10,000 hours in at least a couple of disciplines, and though I’m good at many things, I am not a master of none.
- Polymath. It’s a beautiful, elegant term, but to me it sounds snobby and elitist.
- Multipotentialite. Another beautiful term. But at some point, you cease to be a potentialite and grow into a full-fledged expert.
- Renaissance man. Describes geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and their ilk. I can’t compare to them.
- Entrepreneur. It’s true that I’m always looking for opportunities and I’m usually aware of the many available to me. That said, I am not strictly about the pursuit of money.
But for now, I’ve settled on Creative Alchemist. I sort of coined the term, and it accurately describes what I do.
I’m aware that there is a book of the same title, but it is more in the context of spirituality, which I deem separate from the message I share, and others have resonated with (the term “creative alchemy” has been received well by several creatives I know).
Okay, but That Still Doesn’t Tell Me What You do
For me, what I do is not my identity nor is it a make-or-break thing.
For many people, it is their status, their impact, their legacy.
I love my work, and I dedicate my share of time and effort to it. That said, I don’t think of my work and my being as one and the same.
Which is going to sound like a cop out to some, so here’s what I’ll offer, in point form:
- I make the bulk of my living as a staff writer, ghostwriter, and/or content creator.
- I take on the occasional graphic or web design contract.
- I publish daily on my blog and Medium. My mission is to inspire creatives and creators. You can also read my 31 reasons for blogging. I see growing a following or making money as a byproduct.
- I publish on Music Entrepreneur HQ and News Break on a less frequent, but somewhat predictable basis. In addition to blog posts, I have published podcast episodes and videos on Music Entrepreneur HQ. The HQ has been set up as a business unit, and I have always been upfront about that. It makes money from books, eBooks, courses, affiliate products, and advertising. Music Entrepreneur HQ is tied in closely with Content Marketing Musician, which is where my courses are (or will be) hosted.
- I am the co-founder of The Indie YYC community – a community dedicated to inspiring local artists in pursuit of independent creativity, independent thought, and independent life. I host a weekly series called Creative Entrepreneur.
- I make music. This is mostly for fun. Plus, I have written many songs over the years that I would like to share with the world. People tell me I’m not too shabby on the guitar.
- And I have other projects, some of which are active, some of which are on hiatus, and some of which are defunct.
I foresee some changes in the above in the near future, but I think you will always see me writing, editing, podcasting, presenting, producing, making music, drawing, painting, and engaging in other creative efforts. That is my wont and it isn’t about to change.
So, there is no easy answer to this question, but I like to think of what I do as fluid. Some things I do for pragmatic purposes, others I do because I simply want to see them exist. And that is often what I have found the most joy in.
Either way, I hope you saw yourself in the above. I hope it inspired you and left you with some ideas for what you can do in your own creative efforts.
How would you describe what you do? How do you like to think about it?
I would love to know! Leave a comment.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.
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