Recently, I embraced modernity and got a smart phone. I have always been a late adopter of phone technology, as my first cell phone was an ageing Virgin Mobile, already several years old when I got it. Though initially aggravated by its inability to send or receive text messages (or calls in general) with any consistency, I came to appreciate its tank-like qualities when it came to durability. Despite investing in a phone holster, the phone frequently came loose and fell in front of me as I was running to and from university. The result was that I inadvertently punted the phone on numerous occasions, sending the small device sailing into walls, snow, and staircases; sometimes all on the same occasion. One time, I even recall curb-stomping it.
After years of enduring gangland style beatings, the phone still maintained all of its initial, if limited functionality, with aesthetic scares across the thick plastic and a general rounding of previously pointed edges being the only memory of the violence. Something tells me that my new iPhone won’t be nearly as durable. What it lacks in durability it more than makes up for in utility, having become my agenda and news source, converting me in the process into an avid podcast listener.
One podcast that I have become particularly enthralled with is digital artist Ash Thorp’s The Collective. It’s an easy listening podcast involving interviews with artists, designers, musicians and others that are passionate about pursuing their craft and discussing how the life they live allows them to produce creative products.
A recurring message from these interviews is that if you want to be great at something, you need to put in the time. Plain and simple, if you want to become established and recognized within a field, you need to commit a significant amount of time to it. Ash frequently refers to the requirement as a “laser-like focus”.
That is not to say that living a singular existence is doing you or anyone else any favours. Another reoccurring line used in the podcast and originally in the film Ghost in the Shell is “specialization breeds in weakness”. I do believe that flexibility is important in life, as the nature of reality is that you rarely find yourself doing just one thing at all times.
I do not suffer from overspecialization. As someone currently juggling writing a non-fiction book, a board game company (www.convergentgames.com), preparing and teaching adult education leisure classes to begin in Fall; to say nothing of my hobby brewing, Toastmasters, a full-time job, writing a blog, socializing or running. The point is that I like to dabble, but I recognize the need to cut some things down if I want to elevate and excel in other areas.
For this reason, the blog posts are going to become less frequent from now on, as up until now I have been posting twice a week. Moving forward, I will be posting bi-weekly, with a new post showing up on Sundays. I love to write non-fiction articles as I explained in the article: Why I Write and the blog has served to keep my writing sharp. However, as a matter of time commitments, I am no longer able to meet my original writing schedule.
I wish everyone the best and if you would like to write as a guest blog, I welcome it as long as you have a story to tell that is nonfiction and doesn’t leave the reader feeling like garbage.
All the best.