Saturday, August 28, 2010

In Defense of Multitasking

I have a private peeve. I hate it when writers sneer at authors who are famous for doing something else. Hate. It. Yes, I understand the resentment when "celebrity" authors get a free pass while the rest of us struggle to get our work seen; I share that resentment. And I have read books by "celebrities" that I thought were complete dreck, and I'll admit to allowing myself the thought that if the authors of those books hadn't been famous, their books would never have been published.

But by the same token, I've read some books by celebrities that I thought were really good. And I hate the assumption by struggling writers that any good book written by a celebrity must have been basically rewritten by the editor in order to make it publishable. Is there some rule that says a person can only be good at one thing in their lives? Who says that there aren't a few celebrities who have worked hard, gotten feedback on their work, made revisions, and made the grade on their own?

I was an actor before I was a writer. After I took ten years off from acting to be a stay-at-home-mom, I started taking acting classes again. I plan to take more, and to have to work my way up. When I decided I wanted to be a writer too, I joined SCBWI, and went to conferences and workshops, and I plan to attend more, and to have to work my way up. I have joined critique groups to better my writing craft; I have performed in plays for free to get the experience and better my acting craft.

I am an actor and a writer. I hope one day to be very good at both.

How about you? What's your opinion on professional multitasking? Can a person be really great at more than one thing?

1 comment:

  1. Ishta, I was a performer before I considered myself a writer not realizing I wrote plays and comedy for radio and TV. I was learning, didn't know it, through brevity. I'll stop now.