I’d like to be a meaningful specific too. Except that I’ve always been kind of a Gill of all Trades. And I’ve taken that identity very seriously.
In this recent video shot at TED (I think), Seth Godin (I read his blog daily) is interviewed about his statement that “everybody needs a tribe” – which is not exactly what he said, but they interviewed him about it nonetheless. He’s basically pontificating in the delightful Seth Godin way about the 1000 true fans rule.
The interviewer goes on to ask him why he’s not on Twitter. And since I’m not on twitter (and have recently been feeling like perhaps I should be, but then decided to let that wave pass), I was interested to hear Seth’s reasons. Go to about 9:00 minutes in to hear what Seth has to say about Twitter from his lips. But here’s my take…
Basically, he says that he’s becoming the best at being who he is: really good at writing/blogging about marketing. And he emails. He prefers personal private meaningful conversation as opposed to thousands of anonymous people yelling at him (aka Twitter). At one point he says that if he tried to bake, and do photography, and all these things, he’d become a “wandering generality instead of meaningful specific“.
This hit home. I’ve been struggling with wanting to be a writer, producer, director, actor, voice actor, photographer, graphic designer and whatever else struck my fancy. And consequently I’ve been concerned with becoming a wandering generality. So, I’ve narrowed it down.
I’ve cut photography.
It’ll still be a hobby, but I’m not going to try and be a photographer. I’m not going to try and earn money at it.
What then is my meaningful specific? I’m a storyteller. That’s why I loved photography. I loved telling a story though the pictures. And I do love beautiful pictures! But I’m a storyteller. As a writer, as a director, as a performer, I’m a storyteller. So while, it may seem like I’m still a wandering generality because I’m not narrowing my focus between writing and acting or producing and directing, I’ve convinced myself that I’m a meaningful specific, because I’m a storyteller and I use whatever path or medium I’m inspired to use to tell stories. And that’s okay.
I’m a storyteller. And I take that identity very seriously.