Learning about when to quit and when to stick

In less than a month, this blog will have been in existence for 6 whole years. When the blog came into being, so did my business, Rosehaven Cottage Inc. (even though our home had been "Rosehaven Cottage" for quite some time before either). Six years is the longest I've ever worked at any "job". This is a huge milestone for me.

Last week, I started listening to an audible book by Seth Godin called "The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)" (it's in printed form too). I have several of Seth Godin's books in hard copy, so when I saw the title of this one I was very intrigued and asked Hubby if it was available on Audible.com. Hubby has credits built up in his Audible.com account and downloaded the book for both of us to enjoy.


I started listening to the book during my time sitting out on the chaise lounge in the shade of the oleander and wisteria in the late afternoon and evening. While hummingbirds would flit down to the bird fountain for a last bath before bedtime, I was listening the book through my iPhone propped on my front with the speaker turned down so only I could hear it.

What have I discovered about myself as I've listened to the book's insights? Actually a great deal. But there have been some epiphanies that have been particularly important.

I've realized that it is okay that my passion is photography--that even though I'm capable of drawing, painting, illustrating and lots of other art forms it is okay for me to devote all my creative energy to photography. I don't have to do all of them. In fact, doing more actually dilutes my efforts. And it's okay to quit the things that dilute my energy.

I've also realized that what I happen to be passionate about is also what resonates the most with my audience. The vehicle I use to make my work usable by my audience is stationery designs (online, printed and printable stationery). And the designs that include some element of my nature, floral or "life vignette" photography and my digitally manipulated vintage paper ephemera are the ones that are the most popular.

And guess what...

Those are the pieces that I've derived the most enjoyment from during the creative process! Huzzah! Interesting isn't it?

So I've concluded that I'm "quitting" all the other creative pursuits that I kept thinking I needed to maintain in order to be "diversified". It turns out diversification is not necessarily a good thing. And "quitting" isn't always a bad thing or a sign of failure. Sometimes it is the wise and smart option.

Many of you are part of my creative community. I'd like your thoughts on this. Over time what creative passions have you chosen to focus on and be passionate about? How has that resonated with those that appreciate your work?

I have no affiliation with the book mentioned in this post.
I don't receive any compensation for having mentioned the book.
I don't receive any compensation for you clicking the link 
I've provided for your convenience.

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  1. It sounds like an interesting read. Author, Barbara Sher offers a different perspective in her book Refuse to Choose. It spoke to me, because I have so many diverse interests and have always felt paralyzed and unable to take action because I felt I had to choose to do just one of them. Her website, www.barbarasher.com has more information on the books she's written.

  2. Cindy, congratulations on finding your bliss, that one thing that makes you happy and fulfills your creative spirit! And I don't think 'quitting' is a bad thing, it is allowing you to focus your time and energy on what you love. I'm a dabbler, many fingers in many pots and I love it. Will I someday find the one thing that will capture my heart and my mind and fulfill my creative spirit? Maybe, but until then I'll continue to quite happily diversify. Thanks for a thought provoking post, Deb


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