Let’s be real for a minute - working full-time and maintaining a side hustle is hard work. For the last three years I’ve been a professional juggler, balancing a desire to excel at my 8-to-5 while also building my blog, freelance portfolio and finding my niche. A lot of my days look like this: wake up at 6 a.m., chug coffee, scramble to work, get my morning tasks done, work on side hustle emails during lunch, wrap up afternoon tasks, scramble back home, wrap up the day at home with blog work. Whew!
In these last few years, intentionally setting aside time to invest in my creativity has fallen to the wayside, which ultimately had a domino affect on my blog and freelance work. Without investing my time into sketching out ideas, aimlessly playing in Photoshop with the intent to learn, and not touching my camera for months, stale, mundane ideas and designs crept their way into my work.
Scary, I know!
Since realizing that I was in a full-fledged creativity crisis, I’ve taken intentional steps toward setting aside time to read about creativity (I’m lookin’ at you, “Big Magic”!), attend classes where I can create with my hands and more. But first, I had to get over a few lies I was believing about investing in myself. Are you struggling with any of these, too?
I can’t afford creative classes or conferences, and will they even help me?
I believed this lie for a long time. Several creative workshops popped up in St. Louis over the last few months, but I was making excuses to not attend for reasons like ‘not having the money’ or that ‘I was too tired.’ Lame! I now save a percentage of my freelance income specifically for investing back into myself and my creativity. This month I’m taking a flower crown design class that I never would’ve looked at twice in the past. Sure, I’m not a freelance florist, but working with my hands brings me joy and I’m excited to see who I connect with in the class. Pushing yourself to learn new things and be around fellow creatives will help you, no matter what your blog or business’s niche is.
I don’t have the time to invest in my creativity - I’m already so tired!
This was a big one, too. Between work and my “after-work-work” as I like to call it, I was feeling spread very thin. But I took baby steps, looking at 1 to 2-hour events after working hours or seeking our weekend workshops that wouldn’t interfere with my work week. Sure enough opportunities popped up and I jumped at the chance to get involved. I’d recommend checking out event sites like Eventbrite to see what upcoming workshops and creative conferences are happening in your city, and which ones will fit into your schedule. Also, consider looking at your schedule to see where you can trim out unnecessary time that you’re spending - can you cut your workout from 1 hour down to 30 minutes? Can you spend less hours on a certain client’s project? Saying “no” to some projects and “yes” to investing in your creativity and happiness will never do you wrong.
I don’t know if investing in my creative work will make me happier.
This is a dark place to be in, but I’ve been there. Before pouring time into my creativity, I felt very bland and without ideas. This article from the Huffington Post is a great read on why being creative makes us happier, but in short - when we get totally zoned in on the creative process of a project and then step back and witness the final product, uncontrollable feel-good endorphins rush through us and we experience genuine happiness. I totally experienced this that time I dove into Photoshop and designed a brand vision board for hours, only being able to admire the final product once it was complete. It was an amazing feeling, and one that I continually feel when I attend a class, conference or attempt a new creative project at home.
You deserve to invest in your creativity and to experience all of the amazing benefits it brings to your blog, business and brand. You’ll be astounded to see how your community will grow along the way, too. How will you push yourself to pour back into yourself after a long day at the office, the studio or home
Share your thoughts in the comments below, or tweet me at @HeyWorkingGirl!