When we consider what it takes to be successful, most experts will suggest that you find one particular area of focus and narrow in on it as tight as possible. But I’ve tried that strategy and found it less than inspiring. To be honest, I believe it’s brought me more struggle than success.
From the start of my writing journey, I fell into the trap of hyper-focus. It was hard not to as this seems to be the strategy everyone preaches. Of course, there were plenty of things about a narrower view that made sense to me: my clarity and understanding should have been deeper in a tightly-defined niche, it would be easier to brand myself so that people could understand more easily what I was all about, and it seemed certain that I would have the capability to go farther.
But what I’ve learned over my approximately five-year journey of finding my own area of impact is that it is perfectly acceptable to hold a looser grip, to be more expansive in my view, and to allow myself to explore a topic from multiple angles.
Go Wide or Go Home
The first benefit to a wider view is that by not narrowing in on a tight focus, our experience can be more fun and enjoyable. I could literally feel the constriction of the narrow way but by loosening my grip I became much more like the 7-year-old boy I remember myself to be: curious, full of fun, and in love with life. To not be constrained is to find freedom and in that, we can retain the best of what it means to be alive and in pursuit of those things that are most important to us.