Pre blog-launch, I was communicating with readers mostly by email. Last week, I got this insightful note from a lawyer/educator/writer-editor in North Carolina. With his permission, I’m posting the relevant parts of his note here (he asked for his name to be withheld). Couldn’t have said it better myself:
. . . that thing that made all the difference in this road less traveled (to badly misquote Whitman) was finding ways for each sub-career to “touch” the other. For example, the magazine I edit is a management journal serving the hospitality industry. I teach hospitality law and ethics in the school of business. I practice
business law, and often represent companies in the hospitality industry. I write articles on law and finance for a business audience. The dots connect. All require oral and written expression, organization of ideas, and analysis and research. Advising business owners and managers,particularly those in the hospitality industry, is also a common nucleus.
Upshot: Each activity supports and lends credibility to the other. In total, they provide a livelihood on which I can support a wife, two children in a comfortable middle-class existence.
On the other hand, if the magazine was, let’s say, about wood working, and if I was teaching marketing, practicing domestic law, and writing software technical manuals, I believe my professional life would feel a little disjointed and unfocused most of the time, and my performance in all the aforementioned areas would suffer.
That said, I think synergy is where you find it. I have a friend who is a plastic surgeon and an accomplished fine artist. In my mind, these things cross over in that they share in common the requirements of dexterity and a sense of aesthetics (not bad qualities to have in doctor who redesigns faces).. . .