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What Is A Multipotentialite Editor?

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In June of 2021, I presented at the Editors Canada Conference. My presentation was called “Doing It All: The Ups and Downs of Being a Multipotentialite Editor.” I had a blast presenting, and some people messaged me afterward asking me questions or expressing that they’d felt validated upon learning that they fit the multipotentialite label. So, I thought I’d discuss being a multipotentialite editor here as well.


I call myself a multipotentialite editor, but for those unfamiliar with the term multipotentialite this might be unclear. A multipotentialite is a person with diverse interests and multiple creative pursuits. It’s a word popularized by Emilie Wapnick, founder of Puttylike, a website for multipotentialites, and author of How To Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who Still Don’t Know What They Want To Be When They Grow Up. But it comes from multipotentiality, a educational and psychological term to describe the ability or preference of a person to excel in multiple fields.

If you haven’t heard the term multipotentialite, you may be more familiar with these synonyms:

  • Polymath
  • Renaissance person
  • Generalist
  • Multi-passionate person
  • Multipod
  • Scanner

Multipotentialite Editors

A multipotentialite editor is an editor with diverse interests and creative pursuits. There’s no one true way to be a multipotentialite editor, but it might look like:

  • Having another job in addition to being an editor
  • Becoming an editor after being in a career in another field
  • Embracing variety within an editing career
    • Working in different genres
    • Working in different mediums
    • Offering different kinds of editing or editing adjacent services
  • Pursuing other interests outside of an editing career
  • Enjoying the non-editing parts of an editing career

Mutlipotentialites thrive on learning and make excellent innovators and problem solvers. We also tend to get bored doing the same things all the time and resist the idea of being pigeon-holed or restricted to a single category, label, or title. Thus, a multipotentialite editor might feel limited by focusing their business on a single niche and seek out a variety of projects to keep the work feeling fresh and exciting.

To use myself as an example, I offer multiple editing services, work across several genres and mediums, and pursue art and creative writing on the side. I like to switch between genres when lining up projects to work on, I’m always seeking out different webinars or books to learn from, and I get bored if my days are always the same. Thus, I am a multipotentialite editor.

And if you embrace variety, creativity, and opportunities to continually learn as part of your editing career, you might be one too!

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