The Honest Truth About What It Takes To Make A Living Doing What You Love
Accept that you will not always be doing what you love.
In fact, “doing what you love” day-in and day-out is exhausting. Things that are a little more rote will be often be a welcome relief.
Accept that it may not be the only way you make your living.
Accept that, especially if you’re in a creative field, the monetary value of your work will usually not be generated by how highly you think of it. It’s how highly editors think of it. The degree to which it piques public interest. How consumable it is or gorgeous or worth their money or space in their sites and magazines and whatever else.
If you have a problem with that, don’t create things to be consumed.
Do not expect a rally. Do not expect a following. Do not expect a name. These things are byproducts, not goals. Not everything will get you an applause, and it doesn’t have to.
Learn to work when you’re not inspired.
“Writer’s block” is a load of bullshit. It is not knowing what you’re trying to say, or trying to say it in a way that is too far removed from how you naturally think and speak.
Creativity is not a non-renewable resource. The more you do it, the more you strengthen your capacity to continue. If being consistently creative is draining to you, or if it depletes your mind and you aren’t able to recover within a reasonable amount of time, consider that it may not the right path for you.
Because it probably isn’t.
There are creative people all over the world who can produce every single day. There is nothing wrong with you if you aren’t one of them.
Learn to work out of purpose, not passion.
Passion is the spark that lights the fire, purpose is the kindling that keeps it burning all night.
Everybody has ideas for books and songs and companies and businesses. They remain ideas unless they are married to purpose and productivity. Logistics.
Accept that the comment section exists, and if you can’t take the heat, you should get out of the kitchen. Part of doing anything in the public eye is receiving various feedback. This is not partial to the internet, or your life, it is the nature of the beast.
(Tip: if you note which comments bother you the most, you can learn a lot about yourself and what you need to work on.)
Accept that you will need to work. And work will still feel like work. And when the thing you love becomes the work you do, it might lose some of it’s magical, soothing, glittering joy. This is okay. This is more than okay. This is what happens when you start applying purpose to what you love. This is what happens when you start pushing the boundaries of your skill. These become the deciding moments.
Accept that it is not how gifted you are, it is how consistently you can produce that will determine your success. Accept that the latter is something you develop. It is something you control.
There are thousands and thousands of technically gifted artists and writers and musicians whose work will never see the light of day because they assume “doing what they love” is synonymous with never struggling.
Accept that doing what you love is more difficult than doing what you don’t. Everything is at stake. You are more raw and vulnerable than you could conceive. You are building a legacy. It is terrifying. It is gorgeous. It will be worth it. Because this is not just how you build a living – this is how you build resilience.
And creative resilience is the rarest kind.