The phrase “jack of all trades” has always confused me. For some people, it is a derogatory remark that a person is no good at anything in particular whereas for others it is more like a badge of honour. Whichever way you look at it though, it tends to imply that you are spreading your efforts over a variety of interests rather than getting brilliant at just one.
So for someone who wants a career as a writer or a film director or a contributor to a magazine, being a jack of all trades would (at first glance) seem like the worse thing to be. With everyone in the world trying to write their story or direct their movie and competing with each other, the last thing you want to do is split your brilliance between several different career paths, right?
I tend to take the saying literally. A jack of all trades literally means a person who does everything. It doesn’t say whether the person is good or bad at what he does, merely that they try. When dealing with a creative career, splitting your focus between different paths is possibly the most useful thing you do.
I style myself as being a creative jack of all trades but, in actual fact, anyone who wants a career in a creative profession needs to have a working understanding of all the other creative industries to succeed in life. So I suppose calling myself a creative jack of all trades is really just a more complicated way of saying, “I’m an artist.” In fact, if you look hard enough at your own life, I think you will find that everyone has the potential to be a jack of all trades…
“That’s a load of rubbish!” I hear some of you cry. “You’re just one of the lucky ones who can do lots of different things…”
Well, yes I am rather lucky. I have my fingers in a lot of different pies, whether it be film making, article writing or story telling and over the course of this blog I will be recounting stories from my life, giving useful hints and tips and sharing my successes with you. But the point I’m making isn’t, look at what I can do…
It’s look at what you can do!
Anyone reading this blog has the potential to be a jack of trades. You may not have the interest or flair to be a creative jack of all trades but I can guarantee that all of you have skills that lie dormant, just waiting to be unleashed on the world.