Singular Ferocity

August 10, 2012

My son is two and a half and obsessed with two things: all things Thomas the Tank engine and cars (he can identify cars on the road by sight; it’s eerie). Occasionally I can distract him with dogs or a book about letters, but mainly this kid would spend the entire day in a Thomas or car obsessed fog.

You know what? Good for him. We’re told we need to be well-rounded, especially if we’re women. I went to a liberal arts college that prided itself on making you take classes so you were proficient in everything (or, if not proficient, ruin your GPA with a D in Trigonometry, ahem). And I understand that idea if you don’t know where you want to go or what you want to do, but what about those of us with a singular ferocity toward one subject? One obsessive goal?

Everyone I know that is happily successful is such because they turned their love (obsession) into their job. My grandpa’s obsession is airplanes. He didn’t just become a pilot, he built his own airport and association celebrating antique aviation. The other day, my Mom referred to that business he built as his fourth child because it is that important to him. He put that much blood, sweat and tears to growing and cultivating it.

I have wanted to be a published author for as long as I can remember, but for a lot of years I focused on trying to be something else. Something with a salary and benefits and respectability. But I never really found that job that fit, that consumed me, that I was comfortable in.

When I finally decided to pursue this writing thing, it took me over. Because this is my obsession. I love to write. When I finish one book, my very next thought is diving into the next. There are hard days, yes, but I know with a singular ferocity this is where I fit.

You don’t need that singular focus to write or be successful, but I don’t think it’s wrong to be that singularly absorbed as many people tell us it is.

Follow your (healthy) obsessions. Do what you love.

Nicole

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