Disclaimer: Reading this post won’t make you successful, but I hope it will motivate you to look at your situation from a new angle and start taking steps today that can lead you to more success. I started this blog for the creative person who’s broke, spinning their wheels, or thinking of giving up. Don’t give up yet.
THE DREAM DEFERRED
There are plenty of people who make a creative dream come true. There are ten times more that give up or postpone a creative dream to take up everyday work in an attempt to pay down mounting debts or gain financial stability (what’s a vacation, again?). I don’t fault these people—vacations and weekends and health care are awesome. And for a while this is the path I pursued.
For six years, I tried various less-than-creative pursuits to try to earn enough to survive and get some stability in my life. Nothing really worked out though. Tiny ten-cent raises here, part-time hours there. Six years is a long time to waste doing this. Nevertheless one day enough was enough. I decided to say fuck it, to head down a fairly reckless and bold path, and to try to pivot to a different creative pursuit (writing).
THIS TIME WAS DIFFERENT
But this wasn’t just trying to be a struggling artist again. This time was different in an important way. This time the goal was to achieve long term financial stability. And after a few months I started to make some headway, more headway in fact that I ever achieved with music. This was a sign to me to keep going.
There are plenty of times you hear someone tell their story and you think: that’s great, but how many people crashed and burned who tried that?
The thing is, I don’t think my story has to be that unique. I think you can replicate it.
This blog is for those creative people who’ve given up and postponed their dream to try to get that elusive financial stability. But if you’re like I was, for all your talents and ability to focus and learn, you’re not achieving it.
People in suits will have given you all sorts of reasons for this: the economy, not a team player, no experience doing [insert mindless simple service/clerical task]. You’ve probably heard some version of all of these excuses.
USING YOUR SKILLS
But I think there’s a way out: Take what you’ve learned to do in that unsatisfying job (negotiating with difficult people, solving account problems, researching, planning, or following business strategies, etc.) and apply it to your talents. Combine those real skills with a creative talent and you’ve got something. Combine that pairing with a newfound will to make shit happen for yourself and now you’re really a force to be reckoned with.
So that’s the first task. Figure out how you can use those job-world skills to make money with your art. Negotiating with clients? Planning? Promoting? Whatever it is, figure out how it can help you do what you want to do.