Our apartment is so small that I had to squeeze my desk (acquired for free from moving neighbors) into the narrow space between our bed and the bedroom wall, which means I use our bed as an office chair.
That’s one of my favorite places to sit. Around me, on the desk and on the bed, lie the paraphernalia for a plethora of hobbies: the laptop and journals and fountain pens I use to write, an old fashioned wooden pen box given to me by my dad when I graduated college, my Oxford dictionary, watercolor paper and inks, a Spencerian script workbook, a DSLR camera, and several books I’m reading or using for reference.
One of my deepest desires is to create beautiful, meaningful things. This desire manifests itself in as many ways as the objects that so often surround me. I also want to create well, to be the master of my craft.
But I have so many crafts—too many! I’ve tried to prioritize them, but that hasn’t helped much. I want to do it all.
I want to practice my handwriting because I want my writing to be beautiful, and after 15 months of practice, it would be foolish to stop now.
I want to write daily because I know writing is powerful, and I know I can make a difference in the world through writing. I especially want to practice now because I plan to apply to creative writing MFA programs later this year, and I want to produce good sample work. Oh, and we all know that to write well, you must also read well, so I always have a large reading list.
I also aspire to be an artist, something I have some exposure to but am still poor at. Sometimes I can sketch all right, but that’s about it.
In addition to the skills I am currently working on, I would love to add music, which was my first art. I moved on from my dream to be the next John Williams when I discovered, at age 18, that poetry was a different kind of music. But I’d love to go back, practice the piano again, write music again, and see what doors that might unlock.
How can I become an expert in so many different things?
The truth is, I probably can’t. At least not all at once. I remind myself that I don’t have to be the expert in everything right away. There is time. I can take steps each day, small ones if need be, and eventually I will get there. I also try to remember that I don’t have to do each of these things every single day. Writing and reading will always be my primary creative focus. And I want to work on my handwriting now to compliment this work. But maybe in six months, or a year, or two years, I can turn my attention from handwriting to other art forms.
In the meantime, I can save art and music for weekends and bits of free time. As I continue giving whatever time I have to these interests, I hope that what is most important for me to focus on will naturally present itself, but ultimately, I hope to find a marriage between all these pursuits so they don’t have to compete. Maybe someday I will find a way to turn my art into income, and I will move out of the office that consumes so much of my time and into my own studio where all my passions will have the freedom to grow together.