Creativity / Meandering

Meandering Monday about Being a Dilettante

Running late today. This meandering comes from a place of discouragement. Bear with me.

Last week I failed my “words-per-week” quota – there were things going on between work and personal life that made it difficult to engage with my writing (or even find 10 minutes to sit and stare at the computer.) I was also going through the tedious process of modifying the blurbs on the I did have time for some self-examination (like I don’t do enough of that.)

I am a dilettante. I dabble. I get interested in something, I try it, mostly succeed (to the annoyance of others who think it’s unfair that things come easy to me), and then I say “Okay, I’ve done that,” and move on to the next thing. I wish I was a polymath Benjamin Franklin, or DaVinci, but I’m not. I dabble.

I embroidered once; literally once. Same with knitting. My wife decorates goose eggs, so I did one. Just one. I made myself a shirt and a pair of pants.

I spent nine years of my life in formal education playing instruments. That sounds like a committed effort, doesn’t it? I spent the first three years playing trumpet, then on year on French horn, six months on B-flat horn, 18 months on Alto horn, and three years on Trombone. I also taught myself some acoustic guitar, and I pick out tunes on keyboards. I have a harmonica and a chanter at home that I haven’t gotten around to yet.

I did my first acting in sixth grade. I got into it seriously in 9th grade (when I was fifteen), and stayed in it a year past college (my first college run) – a total of seven years, and then I stopped.

Sometimes I decide to draw; no formal training – I just do it, and then I stop. I dabbled in cooking, used to wargame, toyed with football when the Cowboys were having open tryouts during a strike (had to teach myself to throw a football for that.)

A jack of all trades – a master of none.

Am I treating my writing the same way? I’ve been officially at this for at least eleven years depending on how I count it, so I don’t think so – but I am dividing time between it and too many other things – I really need to be able to devote some real, concentrated effort to it. I’ll have to when I get back to my Swordsmaster novel (that should be next week.) Dabbling won’t cut it – time for some real focus.

Just saying…


BaastardsRevengeCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his most recent publication “Baastards’ Revenge” (the fourth story of his Herc Tom series), can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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