Two years ago Big Magic by Liz Gilbert came out. There was a huge ruckus online about it because every creative entrepreneur was reading it and raving about it. I mean it was everywhere and there’s a good reason as to why. I’m here today to talk about my big fat permission slip.
Gilbert didn’t pioneer the rules that creatives should live by but she did speak up and give permission to creatives to have a job and still hustle.
She let is know that while she was writing and selling books she didn’t quit until she was sure her income from her books was more than enough to cover her wage. She continued to work, continued to write and found a happy medium.
And it’s this concept that I come back to again and again. I’m first, and foremost, a writer. I live in my head, in my creativity and my ability to craft something out of a blank page. Yeah, it may take me five solid drafts before I get to the real gold and it may even take fourteen years to pen that novel that I’ve had for years, but that’s my process and that’s who I am and how I work.
Secondly, I work in retail. It’s my main source of income and right now? I have two jobs. I work between two workplaces which sometimes gives me a seven-day (or nine) workweek over two weeks and two jobs. I knew that this would happen because I put myself in that position but it allowed a weight to lift off my shoulders and know that I am safe, secure and abundant.
I can have a roof over my head, enjoy my balcony apartment in the North of Melbourne, have a cat, drive my car and sometimes go out with my friend to explore the deep and nourishing friendships that hold me together and keep me sane.
I couldn’t do this if I didn’t have a source of income and while I love what I do, some times it doesn’t pay the rent. Or my car insurance, or my phone bill or even the internets that I need to survive.
It allows me the flexibility to work with beautiful clients who choose to allow me to fill their lives with my knowledge, which is two bachelor degrees and a beginning masters degree deep, and coach them through some of the hardest things they’ll have to do.
It allows me to shape, shine and edit words of their beloved babies into something both of us can be proud of.
But most of all, working like this allows me to create.
I know that I get blocked when I’m scared.
When life is sad.
When I worry about how much money I need to ask for.
When I doubt whether I can feel myself after my cat.
Or if I can afford the gym membership that keeps me sane.
I’m a creative.
And I worry about money.
And that’s okay.
Because at the end of it I allow myself to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Working and being a creative is not the end of the world. If you can find a job that is unrelated from what you do (or is related, kudos for you, man!) and can keep your creative habits alive. You can make both work for you.
It takes love, scheduling and a lot of self motivation.
Since getting that second job here are things that have happened:
- I have scheduled blog posts in advance, almost a months worth too.
- I have had vivid dreams, every night (this has happened since I was a teen)
- I am less stressed.
- I show up at my first retail job with a little more presence and try to get things done better (my perfectionist problem makes it slower though)
- I have made new friends and enjoy the new conversations I am having.
- I show up 100 per cent for the people in my life who deserve it.
- I have gone back to the gym and started to look after my health more.
- I am fully present in my subject for my Masters degree.
- I show up on social media and I’m authentic.
And it’s just the beginning.
There’s a workshop in the mix. More marketing. More me. Just moremoremore.
I’m learning to let go of things and what I shouldn’t be doing.
I’m refusing to work for free, because that kills me more than anything in life.
I’m acknowledging that I need help. I’m asking for it. I’m standing true to myself, if I can’t afford it, I won’t do it and I’ll speak up about it. I’ll leave something that doesn’t bring me joy.
I am controlling my life with the permission that I’m allowed to be a creative and work, coach, have money and write.
Nothing is stopping me.
This turned out to be a bigger post than I expected but I’m happy for it.
What is holding you back from being a creative and working? Let me know in the comments.