Creativity is my day job. I mean that seriously – I earn my living by creating content in various forms. Editor, writer, photographer, and much more – and it’s all about putting food on the table and keeping a roof over our heads.
Unfortunately, that means I tend to get burnt out on writing a lot more than I used to. In days past (i.e. before I was a full-time writer), I could knock off work and sit at the desk and spend my evenings happily pounding away at the keyboard, writing my next novel or short story. Now, this is what I do all day long, Monday to Friday, plus often on weekends for the MockingOwl Roost and my personal projects.
I’m also a director, singer, composer, and actor – and those are all a part of my daily income as well. I’ve monetized my creativity to the point that I no longer have hobbies. Even reading (as a book reviewer), running, and gardening have become a part of my “work.”
Well, that is until I journeyed through the question last year: what can I love that won’t ever pay my bills?
I’m creative, so, of course, most of the things I love involve creativity. But I couldn’t find anything I was “okay” to “good” at that wasn’t something that would then be monetized. I mean, my main hobby was “walking the neighborhood.” Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a little limited in the creativity department.
I’ve been searching for four years (since I became a full-time creative) for outlets that cannot be monetized. Something I would enjoy doing – something I would be good enough at that I’d relish doing it, but something I would never become a “master” in.
Recently, thanks to a Christmas/birthday gift from a friend, I discovered that I love painting. This is an outlet for creativity that I can fully embrace. And though I have some talent in it, I will never be a master. And that is absolutely, wonderfully delightful! I can paint to my heart’s content and know that I won’t ever have to master anything or become an expert in the field.
My encouragement to you is this: whether you’re a full-time creative, want to become one, or simply need an outlet as a creative that doesn’t become a side hustle, try and try and try things until you find something you will never have to master. Get supplies, create a studio space, and dance, write, sing, paint, create mosaics, or whatever else it is you discover you love.