My father used to warn me against being a “Jack of all trades and master of none.” I suppose he said that because I had so many interests and so much trouble making up my mind about what I really wanted to do.
In college, that indecision was evident. I first enrolled in Business Administration, then switched to Psychology, then Nursing, then ended up in Journalism. I was interested in all of these fields, but not interested enough to stay each of them. I settled on Journalism because Advertising appealed to me the most, and it was in the School of Journalism at my college.
When I graduated, I tried my hand in advertising, from layout artist with a department store to selling newspaper advertising. But these jobs weren’t fulfilling, and I ended up with a 30-year career in food service sales. Now that I’m retired, guess what I’m doing? Writing! Finally using that journalism!
Now that I’m a writer, I’m asked the proverbial question: what do you write? Perhaps some people can give a short answer to that question, but I can’t. You see, I write many different types of things. I write articles, short stories, devotionals, novellas and books. I write fiction and nonfiction. I write historical and contemporary. So what does that make me? Indecisive? Confused? Not sure what I really want to be when I grow up? A Jack of all writing?
If you were to ask me why I write so many different things, I’d have to say, “to see if I can.” Writing is a challenge to me, and being successful at it is an even bigger challenge. So far, I’m thankful to say I’ve had success in each of the writing formats I’ve tried.
“They” say a writer should focus on one genre, brand themselves one way. Many people recognize me by my lighthouse brand, which was my intention. But does that mean I can’t write anything that’s not lighthouse-related? Of course not. My stories in Guideposts magazine have only featured one lighthouse so far. My devotions in Daily Guideposts have had none. But I don’t think God wants me to limit myself. The Bible doesn’t say we should only do one thing. In fact, it speaks of different gifts. What it does say though, is that whatever we do, we should do our best.
God made me this way – interested in many things. But like Martha in the Bible who was busy with too many things, I need to be careful to focus on the most important thing – to glorify God with what I write.
That’s the one thing I want to master.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15
Are you a Jack of all trades or are you a Master of one?[