New Poems and Multiple Disciplines

Personal, Poetry, Rambles, Theatre

When people ask me what I do, I either successfully tailor the response to their interests or, more often, bluster a little and stutter like my business card “Theatre — Poetry — Performance — Interactions”. The truth is, I’m interested in every creative medium which involves communicating directly with (and ideally interacting with) an engaged audience. The truth is, more simply, I’m a dabbler.

I much prefer the term “dabbler” to “artist”, by the way.

Right now, I’m programming a computer game (of sorts), planning theatre projects, organising writer development events, working for a youth theatre, and writing a lot of poetry. One problem with being a dabbler is working to become more than a jack of all trades — I want to be an ace, or at least a queen. Another problem is getting paid enough (see this recent poem).

And another problem is maintaining the same level of energy across projects. Right now, it being winter, events are much quieter than during the rest of the year, which means I’m doing more planning and a great deal more writing. Because the summer was so theatre-focussed, I let my poetry slip a bit, so it’s good to be riding that horse regularly again — launching Inky Fingers and maintaining the Poem-a-Week project have been good for that. Poem-a-Week especially has been focussing on experimentation and improving my output, and I’m starting to be pretty pleased with what I’m turning out. But the flipside of that is that theatre is taking a back seat for a while, to continue hopelessly mixing my metaphors.

I’m interested in hearing from other multi-disciplinary creative people. How do you keep juggling your different interests? How do you successfully market yourself in different areas? How do you explain to people what it is you do? And what are you, anyway?

One thought on “New Poems and Multiple Disciplines

  1. Dabbler is a good word for it. I used to sometimes use the word ‘dilettante’ in a sort of self deprecating way but nowadays I try not to say that I’m anything (other than a person maybe) but rather try to give a picture of what I have done and am doing.

    At uni I was pretty good at doing a lot of things all at the same time. I was a bit more motivated then (I played less video games I think). Being accountable to other people I find is a great way of keeping up with everything: I was writing more short stories and poems when I was an active member of a writing group, more plays when I had the opportunity to put them on and so on. Right now I’m playing my ukulele more because my sister is. Of course, the drive to create has to ultimately come from within and so I’m also writing a lot of prose just because there are ideas I want to set to paper.

    As for the problem of not getting paid enough: there’s a thought that unless I go back into academia I’ll have to get a ‘proper job’, but I’d really rather not.

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