It’s okay to have multiple careers in a lifetime – Especially when you get recognition!

Carmen Gloria's book "Thank You Mercury" gets reviewed by The Children's Book Review

Since the launch of my debut children’s book last month, “Thank You Mercury”, I’ve been proud, but at the same time, extremely nervous about receiving reviews. I was not sure what to expect. So far I have five good reviews from people who have purchased the book on Amazon (thankfully).

Today I received my first official book review by The Children’s Book Review and it was AWESOME! Bianca at The Children’s Book Review wrote such a nice and heart warming review, I had tears in my eyes when I read it. As I’ve been struggling to get to the illustrations of my second book together, this was a great motivation to keep me going, and a confirmation that I might just be on the right path. One of my closest and oldest friends from Los Angeles, the wonderful astrologer Divine Harmony, and her daughter, LOVED it and posted about it on her Instagram page. Another dear friend who has a son said they love it too.

So okay, I’m on the right path, but being a ‘polymath’ like myself is difficult sometimes. For most of my working life I’ve been told I should just pick one thing and stick to it, that otherwise you’ll be a “jack of all trades, and a master of none.” So I did just that the first years of my career life, going into the U.S. Army and getting an education and ‘regular’ jobs. When I decided to move to Hollywood to pursue acting after graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree, that creative side of my brain opened up, and as the years went by, I started discovering talents and passions I had not dared to pursue early on, because I was trying to be more “stable.” When I left to Hollywood at the time, my parents and other people thought I was crazy. “You’re going to Hollywood to be an actress? But you just graduated and could get such a great job after the Army?” I heard that SO many times, and even after being in California for years, I kept hearing it.

I stuck with just acting for many years and I worked a lot, but it has always been up and down (not stable). When my creativity broadened into music, and then painting, and then filmmaking, and now writing and illustrating children’s books, it has always been an organic transition each time. I followed my gut. It wasn’t something that I saw someone else do and I thought, “I have to do it too.” I simply can’t sleep if I don’t pursue these creative urges. I wake up in the morning (or in the middle of the night) with ideas in my head, all of the time. I still do. I can’t help it.

More and more I’m seeing that it is more accepted these days to be a ‘polymath’ or a jack of many trades. I remember watching this TED talk by writer and artist Emilie Wapnick and it moved me. She describes the kind of people she calls “multipotentialites” — who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. Since I watched that video, I’ve made an extra effort to accept myself and my love of doing multiple things simultaneously. This is part of who I am. I learned to stop listening to the ones that don’t “understand” me, because they don’t know what it’s like to have these multi-creative urges. It’s refreshing to finally be comfortable with creating and doing what I love at any given moment and know it is more common today than it ever has been.

Doing multiple things might affect our productivity though. I thought I would’ve been finished with my next book by now, but things come in between. I’ve had to study for and work on a TV show as an actress a few times, and was traveling as well. I’m also learning how to illustrate my art for my books digitally, which is still difficult for me. I know it’ll get easier once I get the hang of it, but it’s taking forever. I’m slow when it comes to learning technology.

I guess you could have more success at one thing if you focus on just one thing, that is probably still true for some. Some people NEED more stability and are best when they focus on just one thing. I have talked to several people, especially lately, that have had the same career and same job for many years and they are happy where they are. They’ve expressed that they would never dare to jump in and start their own creative thing, that they need a boss or someone above telling them what to do. Or some of them are their own bosses, but are good at what they do and have chosen to stick with it. I admire that. Sometimes I wish I had a bit more of that.

So I end this blog with extreme gratitude to have a choice. We are lucky to live in a world where we can choose what we want to do. If you’re also feeling like you have multiple interests you’d like to work with, I suggest you give it a shot. If you are happiest being stable, obviously do that. Be who YOU want to be. Do what YOU want to do.

And regarding blogging – It’s not my favorite thing to do, but I’m trying. I’m well aware my past blogs are not the best, or perfect. I’m usually rushing them. Maybe they are too much “me me me.” I don’t know yet. I’m learning this form of expression of ‘blogging’ too. I’m blogging because I am a writer and need to practice writing. I also hope people that eventually start reading my blog feel the same way and can maybe be inspired.

So, thank you for stopping by and until next time.

P.S. Here’s a link to a cool article I read about Elon Musk and how being a ‘jack of all trades’ might not be a bad thing – https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/04/how-elon-musk-learns-quicker-and-better-than-anyone-else
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CARMEN GLORIA was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, now a veteran, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Politics from George Mason University. She is a member of SCBWI, SAG/AFTRA & The American Legion, and is a writer, artist, award-winning actress, short film producer/writer/director, and even co-wrote 2 songs in the Billboard Dance and UK Pop charts. After moving to Norway in 2017, she has been writing and published her children's book Kid Astronomy series with Uncommon Grammar. Carmen is also recurring as Sofia in the Norwegian TV series "Det Kunne Vært Verre" via TV Norge, currently on its second season.
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