Surely, you’ve heard of the concept. Maybe you’ve seen the movie where Curly tells the city slicker the secret to life:
It’s just one thing … (Curly)
What’s the one thing? (city slicker)
That’s what you’ve got to figure out … (Curly)
Maybe you’ve read the book that tells you about “the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results.”
Or, maybe you instinctively know what Andrew Carnegie was talking about when he said successful people are those “who have chosen one line and stuck to it.”
The secret to all sorts of things in life is just one thing.
One thing? No way.
This “one thing” idea has shipwrecked the careers of more writers than have whiskey, greed, and pride combined. It strikes directly at the Achilles’s hill of our profession:
Most writers, by nature, are profusely interested in just about everything. Writers want to know about the birds, the bees, AND the cottonwood trees. They dabble in science, art, religion, anthropology, and ALL the rest.
Writers love to research. They want to find out MORE. Their curiosity is never satisfied, and they’ve a new and amazing idea daily (if not more often). I remember hearing, at about 14 years old, that it was necessary for a writer to pick a niche and stick with it.
“Not so,” said I. “My aim is to be a bestselling author, a successful songwriter, and an acclaimed poet. I can do it all.” And maybe I could’ve, but the painful and apparent fact is this:
I did not.
Was it Michael Jordan, of basketball fame, who tried to double up as a baseball player … but failed miserably? The same thing happens to writers.
If you can’t beat-um, join-um …
“Well,” wrote Kris Kristofferson, “I ain’t saying I beat the devil, but I drank his beer for nothing. Then I stole his song.”
I’m not ready to take a giant step towards the One Thing philosophy — not with my work, at least. I’m like a bachelor dating women in that regard. Which one do you ask to marry you?
Here’s the short list of my seven special loves:
- The DEEP and How to LIVE
- Teaching writing classes and The DEEP concept
- Writing books, both fiction and non-fiction
- Speaking about writing, marketing, and The DEEP
- Ghostwriting for companies and executives
- Writing articles for blogs and online magazines
- Helping entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed online
I can’t pick just one. Not now. Maybe someday, but not now. And to back all those loves up, I’ve a slew of websites to maintain. I’m at the point of either needing to hire help or to trim the sails. No, I’m past that point. The ship needs to head to dry dock for repairs.
So, here’s the plan …
Those who’ve followed me, taken classes from me, or are patiently waiting for me to finish the new edition of The DEEP have seen some gyrations over the past year. My mailing list is a mess. I inadvertently rolled everyone onto the same list, so there’s no segments. Everyone gets the same topics — but not everyone is a writer, not everyone is a marketer, and not everyone is an entrepreneur.
My social media channels have changed names, changed locations, and are pretty well languishing. The new DEEP book I’ve been promising since last summer is still not finished, and writing articles for my own websites has pretty well ceased — even though I keep promising to take myself on as a client.
All of my personal work is moving to this website (donsturgill.com). And I mean all of it. My DEEP work, my client acquisition, my books, my courses and student discussions (as soon as I figure out how) … everything is moving this way.
I’ll also consolidate branding to my own name: Don Sturgill. No more Roadturn, no more Writer School, no more anything but me. But won’t that severely limit my ability to sell my business some day, you might ask. Yes, it probably will. But it will prevent me from a ton of paperwork and red tape in the present. You don’t need a dba (doing business as) to be YOU. And I don’t ever plan to retire. There’s too much work to do.
Note: The private Facebook Group is now “The Deep Group.” Here’s the URL to request membership: Do The Deep