Unattended Longings Won't Be Removed

A common creative question is what to do if you have more than one passion. You like to paint and sing. You want to grow a Internet business and a local charity.  Which to choose and which to drop?

The answer, generally speaking, is: don't drop.

Make one your main focus – you may think of it as work – but keep the others close by. You may think of them as hobbies.

In his excellent little guide to being creative Steal Like An Artist, writer Austin Kleon describes the consequences of dropping his music as ‘phantom limb pain'. ‘I decided I needed to focus on just writing so I spent half a decade hardly playing any music at all. The phantom limb pain got worse and worse.

‘About a year ago, I started playing in a band again. Now, I'm starting to feel whole.

‘And the crazy thing is, rather than the music taking away from my writing, I find it interacting with it and making it better. I can tell that new synapses in my brain are firing, and new connections are being made.'

What are your secondary passions? Are you indulging them? What change could you make to your daily routine in order to take them in?