Yesterday I finished reading and working through exercises in the Renaissance Soul, by Margaret Lobenstine, a guide for “people with too many passions to pick just one.” Through self-reflection, planning, and goal setting, Lobenstine helps her readers see their multitude of passions as a sign of strength rather than as an indication of flakiness, loose morals, and lack of integrity.
As a slow learner writing fiction, starting writing groups, exploring dance and performance art, facilitating workshops, facilitating dialog groups, training for a marathon, painting, creating mandalas, living in two different cities, writing about slow learners, this book seemed to speak to me personally. I find myself desperately trying my best to focus, Focus, FOCUS on one interest (currently it’s writing), only to be distracted by whatever other interesting thing may come along (dance, paint, mail art, spinning records, extreme crafting, psychogeography, guerilla art). I wonder if I’ll ever accomplish anything serious if I continually allow myself to be teased away by the next new thing? Lobenstine assures me that I don’t have to FOCUS on just one passion in order to achieve in that area. Lobenstine guides us in narrowing our interests to four or five “Focal Points,” and offers a step-by-step approach for planning and goal setting.
I was astounded by how much her work sounded like my own parody of self-help books that I am currently drafting. To be fair, I can’t honestly say that I’m drafting my parody right now, since right now I’m working on another interest which is write about Slow Learning for my blog. And when I’m finished, I will actually do what I’ve planned to do with this time slot work on my own book. With help from the exercises in The Renaissance Soul I won’t spend the rest of the afternoon adding to the list of links on my blog. I will work on my book. And I will FOCUS without feeling cheated, because I’ve already scheduled for The Next Big thing to come along.