Please forgive me for a little hyperbole in this post. I tend to get that way when I am a little tired or under the weather, and the time change (combined with sick kids) was enough to throw me off.
Then again, hyperbole is what writers do. I was like that when I was 13 years old writing about my first kiss at a school dance in junior high, and I am like that now describing what it is like watching my son discover the world. We write, sometimes to watch words come out of our minds, sometimes for the benefit of others.
I am reminded of all this reading the words of Om Malik this past weekend. In the vein of commenting on the state of digital publishing, he touches upon how writing is “just one thing.” I’m sure he isn’t referring to other things in this world he adores, because the things we love are completely different than the “one thing” we were created to do and do well.
Or are they?
It’s tough to comment specifically on Mr. Malik because I neither know him personally nor have a desire to comment on his one thing (which is writing). I can merely refer to just myself and my motivation behind my “thing.”
Maybe I’m still young enough to not know with 100 percent confidence what my one thing is. For years I thought it was writing, which thing Tumblog could be evidence of. I brings me pleasure, and I have made a fair living putting it to work in different avenues. I don’t think, however, it is my one thing.
It could be my desire to explore the world around me (see previous statement mentioning my son, I am a proud dad). I love consuming information and passing it along. Perhaps the writing became just a way for me to pass along what I am consuming. Whether it is something I read, watch, listen to, experience, or feel, I enjoy the process of it all. Perhaps, but I am still unconvinced.
Sometimes I am persuaded to believe I love connecting people. Conversations, texts and emails, phone calls, meetings, and everything in between is a way I can experience connection with people. There are times that nothing makes me happier than to bring two people I know together for a common purpose. Who knows, maybe I am just a people person.
In the end, maybe my one thing is I have many things I like a little and enjoy putting together. Maybe we don’t all have to have “one thing”. Perhaps that could be why I am not as well known as Om, or are paid as well as he is for putting his thoughts onto screen. Instead, I would just rather not have to quantify something that could perhaps be un-quantifiable.
If you have that “one thing,” it is something to cherish. Many people would be envious of you. If you don’t, take heart in the fact that it probably makes you like the rest of us. Doing several things well has just as much purpose. One of my favorite Tweets I read often is from Eugene Cho:
Don’t obsess about hitting home runs. Just get on base. Be faithful. Be tenacious. Have integrity. Have fun. Be consistent. Trust God.
Even if you don’t believe in a higher power, those are words to live by.