master of none

What should you do when you want to do everything? If you're fascinated by everything, and you've been called dabbler, dilettante, undisciplined, indecisive etc., this forum is for you.

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Re: master of none

Postby Andreya » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:11 am

Kashtanka, how is a feature article different than other articles? I've only had a few articles published this year, and one of them was 'promoted' to a feature just because it was timely and the editor liked it. I was told how to write articles for that publication in general (the pyramid structure, quoting, etc), no one said anything specific for a 'feature' (?) Have you read Jenna Glatzer's or Kelly James Enger's books or Renegade Writer? (They don't specifically mention features, but they say to study markets, and Jenna gives great examples of what specifically to look for and how to study a market.) Maybe just look at the published features in your target publications closely? If you've already done this and what you've written is similar, then send send send!! :) PS I'm scared to contact new markets too. Partly because I think 'what if too many contact me back' and then I'll be too busy and not able to do those other things...? /sigh/ Do you feel you couldn't pull off the research or the article as such? I think you only feel 'good enough' once you've done it!! (in some cases) It's like before tests: I was always completely frazzled before tests, and completely at calm afterwards... Also, how do you know you'll never be great at anything? I assume you're not 95 or 115 years old yet? UniqueJournalist, what are your true interests? What do you truly wish to do? What do you enjoy doing? What comes easy to you, and other people have commented on? (Or it comes with difficulty, but great results..) Or some troubles you have overcome.. I think these are some of the areas to explore..
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Re: master of none

Postby florence » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:07 pm

"Jack of all trades" vs "master of none" has been on my mind for some time now. It's great to hear that others, angelfire elel and others feel the same way as I do. I have just read the first few chapters of Refuse to choose for the first time and logged onto the website for the first time. I have a sense of guilt with not choosing. I work in the health industry and am professionally qualified in three different areas. I don't want to let go of any of them. I know I am good at them, but I feel I lack the dreaded "dedication" to one area. I sometimes feel you need dedication to one role when helping people in a professional role. I lost some of that guilt when I read the book, with a new flight of ideas with all the twists and turns my exciting careers may take, but then, I thought "who am I to think I can be good at all these things" . I did not think these things when I first started out, but now in my late twenties and being in the workforce for nine years I feel I should choose to be more of assistance to people. I don't want to though. I'm quite happy with the level of competence I have reached in particular jobs and want to keep on going with these on part/time casual basis so I can pursue other things. Then I think "who am I to do that" and "am I irresponsible". Is it just that many of us who are born to be a jack of all trades feel we are inadequate in a "master of none" society?
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Re: master of none

Postby florence » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:12 pm

Perhaps above not clear...I meant in a society that will always view us as a "master of none".
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Re: master of none

Postby Tituba » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:06 am

Then I think "who am I to do that" and "am I irresponsible".
Ah, well, there is a great deal of pressure on people in their 20's to get their life on track, make those choices, get it all together. Because, after all, there is that age 30 deadline. Then, you pass 30 and around 35 you relax. By 40, you do as you damn well please without worrying about what others will think. You start living the life that makes you happy and fulfilled without worrying about what others think. Then you will be free. As for "who am I to do that" - read this “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson
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Re: master of none

Postby shparks » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:14 pm

Tituba wrote: Ah, well, there is a great deal of pressure on people in their 20's to get their life on track, make those choices, get it all together. Because, after all, there is that age 30 deadline. Then, you pass 30 and around 35 you relax. By 40, you do as you damn well please without worrying about what others will think. You start living the life that makes you happy and fulfilled without worrying about what others think. Then you will be free.
I definitely had the age 30 deadline for myself. I was stressed out for years worrying that I was not going to reach any of my life goals before I turned 30. But then after my 30th birthday, I almost immediately decided that it didn't matter that I had not reached certain goals. Now I have ten years before the age 40 deadline, and that is plenty of time. In reality, I don't even care about deadlines at this point at this point in my life. I used to think I had to reach a certain number of goals in order for my life to be considered worthwhile. Now I just take things one goal at a time. If I reach a goal, great. If I don't, then I can just try for another one. It just is not a big deal to me anymore.
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Re: master of none

Postby Unique Journalist » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:15 pm

Approaching 30 was stressful for me, too. Turning 30 wasn't so bad...it was the couple of years leading up to it that I felt tremendous pressure to "make it or break it". Shortly after I turned 29 my stepdad pretty much said I'd had enough time to decide on a career. Boy did I feel the pressure then. Time to stop fooling around. But now...I still don't have a career and can't seem to get up the motivation to care. Still haven't written my novel--don't know if I still want to. Time feels different now. Anyone else notice that? It's like it moves in a linear fashion until about 30, then it becomes sort of malleable. You can expand it or shrink it depending on how you handle it. florence, I know the guilt you feel. Society expects us to pick something and get on with it. But what you're multi-talented? What then? And you're in your late twenties, when people typically "should" all over themselves. They start doing serious things like buying a house or getting married or moving up at work. The motivation for doing those things needs to be the right one, though. (Am I doing this because I'm creating a life that fits me? Or am I trying to do "responsible" things to get social approval?)
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Re: master of none

Postby Tituba » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:25 pm

Is it any surprise that many people marry, have their first child and make really bad choices before age 30? Most of it is the pressure of the big 30 looming. Then, it passes and sanity returns.
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Re: master of none

Postby jj74 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:59 am

Thank you all for these great posts. Kashtanka, your post sounds like a textbook example to me. Just in case you ain't noticed, your brother is right - of course. I've started to wonder if this jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none guy really exists. It certainly is that common label many people like to stick on our backs. It's a burden, but it's a problem that can be dealt with (for that matter, I found 'The Renaissance Soul' a great book). What really puts us down, however, is that we stick that label on ourselves, placing the emphasis - of course - on 'master of none'. So, speaking of myself, why would I do that? For two reasons. One of them is low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, impostorism, whichever term. It's that voice that says 'you can't, and you shouldn't'. I think, many of us have received these messages. They are very powerful, not easy to shake off. The other reason is fear. Trying to do your own thing takes more courage than following some common way. How can you know that what you're doing is right? Only if you have enough trust in yourself that you can rely on your judgement, that you know what is right for you and stand up for it. I'm wondering if 'Refuse to Choose' is the right strategy. I rather hope I'll find the courage to choose.
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Re: master of none

Postby shparks » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:09 pm

Tituba wrote:Is it any surprise that many people marry, have their first child and make really bad choices before age 30? Most of it is the pressure of the big 30 looming. Then, it passes and sanity returns.
That is one bright side for me. I didn't get married, have kids, buy a house, or any of that stuff. I did, however, go into serious debt getting college degrees that so far have not helped me to get a decent job.
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Re: master of none

Postby kashtanka » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:53 pm

jj74, it does seem impossible that we can't be a master of something, doesn't it? Or at least able to dazzle a few people and get paid well for doing it. It's funny that you hit the nail on the head when you said that my brother was right about saying "wing it". The editor of the newspaper called today and said she liked my writing and I could write some articles starting in the Spring. Yay! I struggle with self-esteem also because I fell into the trap of working for the governemnt (I do well on tests) and that job was so limiting. I feel like I can't complete with people who have been in private practices. While I am retired, I would like to do something really interesting with the rest of my life and can't figure out what. People with low self-esteen come up with as many ideas as others, but they're afraid of moving ahead, like you said. Anoher factor could be a sensitive personality that can't take criticism, setbacks, and a sense of failure. People who take risks get much further ahead, as you well know. I would like to find a realty company that could use my services as a photographer who does the pics of their homes for sale to put on the website. When I told a friend my idea, and how I thought that there had to be an art to it and they're looking for professional photograpers, she said that I would never know until I looked into it. What are some of the ideas you have that you'd like to implement and do really well at? Andreya, I'm sorry I missed your earlier post. Feature articles are like human interest stories. They can be about lifestyles, community involvement, volunteering, hobbies and interests, profiles of local people, etc. The writing in feature articles is not personal, but subjective. The articles require antidotes and connections to things that the average person understand, like the lyrics in a song, situations in a movie, public personalities, etc. Why do you worry about sending out material and being swamped with too much work to do? You are not obligated to do all the writing if you get too much. You could write a letter explaining that you are currently too busy to handle any more work, or something like that. I have read many books on writing, perhaps too many. I have seen "Renegade Writer" but I didn't read it. The title reminds me of another book I bought years ago called "Guerilla Dating". LOL. Such titles! They make you think that something miraculous is going to happen if you read the boook. Again, I'm sorry I took so long to reple. I belong to Twitter and Facebook as well as this board, so I miss some posts.
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Re: master of none

Postby ronstreed » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:40 pm

Hi: I can relate to Master of None. I'm 64 year old, married male for 39 years. I've been dabbling in Network Marketing, and owned my own real estate office since 1986. At this point in my life it has really drawn me down financially. I've been a social worker, veterans service officer, farmer for many years, appraiser, and real estate broker for many years. Real Estate earned me a living for many years, but nothing more. Spouse has never supported me in any of these fields because I'm wasn't a wage earner. I can live with that. I'm sure looking forward to reading the "Refuse to Choose " book, and still redeem myself as not a loser. You know when family talks about getting a real job, others can make it but not you. You can not possibly make it in networking, and you should have been debt free when this crash happened.I went thru financial crisis in 1999 and survived, not losing my home, land, and office. It was very close. This has happened twice in my life and could happen once more. I believe what Winston Churchhill since at a college ceremony. His speech was short, and he stated Never,Never,Never Quit. It has worked for me in my personal and financial life. I'll have to make it work again. Of course without books, tapes and cds, I couldn't have done it.
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Re: master of none

Postby Andreya » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:22 pm

Guerilla dating, lol!! (Do tell about it, did it help you catch your husband? ;)) Kashtanka, YAY, congratulations!! GO for it!! Renegade Writer is actually great, addressing these fears we have as writers (Am I good enough? I'm not an expert on this matter... can I still write about it? etc etc) It actually inspired me again after I got a bit bummed after reading some other books and feeling 'not good enough' or 'not expert enough'... So I heartily recommend it!! Also another great book is the Well-Fed Writer, I didn't want to read it first, cause it's meant for copywriters (& I felt that would be like selling the soul to the devil) but it's really inspiring too!! Lots of great tips! (And I got inspired to read it after Kelly James Enger wrote in her book she combined newspaper/magazine writing with copywriting for her local hospital etc.) There are many institutions out there that will see your government background as a BIG plus!! For example institutions that need to get grants or wish to be featured in trade magazines or even big companies that wish to get any government grants or such?? So that's if you wanted to be a copywriter too.. If you want to be a newspaper/magazine writer - who actually cares what your background is, if your stories and angles are compelling enough? Nobody has asked me yet, actually. Unless I'd want to be an 'expert' on something. For interviewing experts, it's okay to be other things too. Well-Fed writer has a whole big CHAPTER on marketing yourself and cold calling etc - 'after you call 600 companies, doors start opening and work starts flowing in'! This was hugely an eye-opener for me!! And greatly reduced my fear of cold calls etc! (I prefer calling and pitching by phone. I never actually wrote a real query yet, & I intend to keep it that way as long as possible. In real live conversation you can sense and address an editors doubts or worries or ask questions & get answers about format etc much more easily.) Thank you for your wise words of wisdom! Of course one can always say 'too busy with other things' I guess! :) I just have troubles saying no sometimes, lol! (And reading those books on successful freelancers just made me sort of worry about the amount of work they do, especially as I also wanted to do other eco things - I guess that can be explained to editors too, and suggested to write article later or get another freelancer who'd be happy to write it? If I stick with the phone call idea maybe the big time difference between start of idea and execution is not so big?) What do you do if you've lost interest to write after you've been assigned a story, or are not quite sure how to write it? jj74, I wonder if you really fully yet 'Refuse to Choose' yet? She says it's okay to not choose among various interests, but invites us to find an umbrella career or careers that embrace the underlying realities behind the interests! (So you can eg write articles about a ton of different things and still 'choose' to write articles/speak about stuff etc) And/or to make a schedule/time plan to fit stuff into finite time resources! (I was happy to see some of my scanner interests disappear already, after satisfying some spark that led me forward, I'll not go into them this week or this month if they are under 'FUN' category. And will do other things until wish strikes again. I'll still do the eco/articles things as I wish to pursue those more seriously.. Hope this makes sense...) In medical field, I ADMIRE someone who has knowledge of 3 different careers!! Maybe there is an 'umbrella' career that actually sees knowledge of the three as a bonus? Eg supervisor or paperwork processor (if you like that sort of thing) or insurance-guy or something? Or eg get sponsors for the hospital, where knowing of pluses and downsides and needs/ways of improvement for several jobs is a benefit... Ronstreed, maybe you can give tips to Kashtanka on the photographs for real estate thing? I know real estate is in a downward trend right now, in a few years the trend will probably go up again and there will be more money in it again.. There are usually cycles in these markets. WOW, admiration for having a real estate agency for so many years!! Is Network Marketing like Amway? While it's looked down upon by many, it's still given you lots of sales techniques and approaches you can maybe leverage into another opportunity, or even /gasp/ job. Well, even being married for almost 40 years is quite a success!! Was spouse the primary breadwinner or did you bring your share to the table? Some people are very drawn to the security of steady paycheck. Sometimes it's good to talk to them what is it actually they are craving? eg perhaps 'if you just did payments into social security' will settle them, or if you reduce hours of work away from home or spend more quality time with them or work around the house.. All things that can 'get them over', if you find what they wish (and they probably told you many times anyway). Good luck with the book Refuse to choose!!
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Re: master of none

Postby ronstreed » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:09 pm

Hi Andeya and Others: I know real estate goes in circles and will repeat itself.. Where I live happens to be on the bottom of the cycle. We don't have booms and busts like big metro areas. It has provided me as the primary breadwinner for many years.We wouldn't make ends meet even today without my others sources of income. A steady check has its perks if you like your job. The satisfaction in the USA is only 43 percent on liking your job. Network Marketing has its pros and cons, so does any traditional business. There is a 90% drop out of agents in 5 years in the State of Minnesota on real estate. Networking marketing they say its higher then that. Main thing to look at is the product(s) and is it priced realistally. Many companies charge a large fee to join(called front loading), or products are so high if you weren't in the business you would never buy them.I've been in 10 companies, and finally found one that helped my health. Three of the companies went bankrupt. I figured two of them wouldn't make it and as they say jumped ship. The third one was around for 12 years, and surprised me when they folded. Treat your networking like a business. I have been in this for 8 years, and would always buy the products.
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Re: master of none

Postby skannie » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:14 pm

Hi ronstreed. Welcome to the boards. Anyone telling you you’re a loser is wrong. You’ll find that out when you read Refuse to Choose. But it doesn’t contain any messages like “Never,Never,Never Quit”. Barbara has tapes and CDs too, and more books, and they are all excellent, but I expect you’ll find them very different from all those others. You’ll have to forget most of the stuff you learned from them, and a lot of the stuff people have been telling you down through the years, if you want Barbara’s methods to work for you. And it can be difficult to forget. I discovered these boards and then read Refuse to Choose over 3 years ago and it explained so much about me. It was a big relief to find I was a Scanner and not just weird. Yet I still find myself thinking “Who am I to believe I’m some special kind of person with a special kind of brain? I’m just making excuses for my personal failings. I ought to just buckle down like everyone tells me to.” But fortunately the more I read and hear about scanners, and communicate with them online, and meet some in real life, the quieter those internalised voices get. If you didn’t get the book yet, you can listen to Barbara talking about Scanners here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdSd8El_C8U Oh one exception to what I said before. If by network marketing you mean MLM schemes, the people telling you it’s impossible to succeed are probably right. They are designed so that only a few people at the top can make a decent profit, and the quality of the product is practically irrelevant. Here are the reasons why: http://www.mlm-thetruth.com/content/30t ... sentations
www.beyond-mountains.com
www.scannertribe.com
Scanner Tribe Group on Facebook
Scanner Tribe group on LinkedIn
Twitter - @scannertribe
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Re: master of none

Postby jj74 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:14 pm

Andreya, I read 'Refuse to Choose' in full, but maybe I didn't get it... After some time, I found it had too little effect on my life, so I looked further and found books that told me more. But that doesn't matter, if it works for you that's just great. Speaking of umbrella careers, this is certainly a good approach for many scanner-like people. In fact, I think many 'standard' jobs have umbrella features if you think of them as requiring a collection of skills and abilities. The point is to cut loose from job titles and put the focus on yourself, not on your job. I find that difficult to do (but extremely necessary). Who are you, ronstreed? A farmer, real estate broker, social worker? Master of all or none of them? Master of none because you've had several job titles? Because a crisis blew your business into the wind? That doesn't make sense. I've been unemployed for seven months now, I've had time to understand that the labor market is a market that pays for my job profile. If anything, it seems unreasonable to say that my job is what I am. I know the feelings that make you call yourself a master of none, but this surely is the wrong way to go. What about the few skills and abilities that enabled you to - at the very least - earn a living in any of these fields? What about this description: you are a man who never, never, never quit. This sounds more accurate to me.
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