It’s not uncommon for passionate people of any field to battle the question: “should I quit my day job for my art?” I’m one of the lucky few who has managed to find a career that allows me to be creative, write freely, and experience art in a way that also helps others increase their skills and knowledge. It’s a win-win, and most days it doesn’t feel like work at all. In fact, as I considered how to word today’s newsletter, I considered using the saying that “it’s called work for a reason,” but in all honesty, I would still be doing the same type of “work” even if I wasn’t getting paid for it. I love what I do.
That hasn’t always been the case, of course. We don’t simply graduate from school and then land where we’re meant to be forever (although I do believe that all my previous experiences leveraged me to being here, now). For many years I struggled; although I’ve never had a job that I didn’t like, partly because I choose to maintain a positive attitude–you should ask me about some of my teen jobs–there were times that I felt the call to quit the day gig and try to make a full-time career of my creative endeavors.
I think it’s something we all go through. I don’t know anyone, in any creative field, who began learning to paint, play guitar, dance, or sing because they thought it would be a great way to make a living. That’s what our left-brained friends do. We, you and I, presumably, gave creating art a go because it sounded fun, enticing, expressive…the list goes on and on. Maybe there comes a point when you master the techniques and think “I could/should get paid for this.” It happened to me, and then the daily mental struggle began. “I love this so much, I want to do it all the time,” I thought. But having the commitments of a family and mortgage made it a very scary jump to take. I waited, rode the wave, and found myself where I should be, now: writing about creativity.
But if your career path isn’t aligned with your art, don’t fret. Here’s the important thing to remember: this is your life, and you can choose to do what makes you happy, whether or not you’re getting paid to do it.
That said, go and create your art.