When Creativity is Your Day Job: A Writers Perspective
The past two months have marked a substantial career change for me. I’ve moved from my company’s sales team over to the marketing side of things. Basically I write. Of course there are other tasks involved, but the focus of my days is to create pieces.
Create. Eight hours. Go. I’ve never before had a job that relies so heavily on the right side of my brain, which has taken some getting used to.
Here are some of my thoughts on what it’s like to create for a living:
Walking Away From ‘Work’ Becomes a Lot Harder
Consider yourself warned. I dedicate my days to writing new pieces or researching information for the next piece. All it does is get me going. I want to explore more, write more, translate more thoughts into prose. I used to think that if I was creative all day I would use up all of my good mojo. Much to my surprise it’s the complete opposite.
Finding Daily Inspiration is Essential
Being asked to create on the spot can be challenging. My first week at the job burnout was a problem, I was spending too much time staring at sentences and not enough time finishing them. I realized that I had to take more breaks than I was used to. A quick walk around the block, a moment to read a particularly powerful article, a five minute dance break, and then bam back to the keyboard always with some rejuvenated energy.
Cash Will be Spent on a Whole Stack of New Journals
Ideas need a place to live before they can come to fruition. Quotes need to be immortalized in ink. Moments deserve to be recorded. I have journals going for brainstorming, general inspiration, knowledge expansion, and due dates. My guess is that the stack will only grow with time.
Time Management is Surprisingly Necessary
With so many ideas buzzing around in my head prioritizing them is key. When I sink into a piece I can get completely lost in it, time becomes obsolete. Until I do in fact remember to look at the clock and panic with the realization that I only have an hour left in my work day and a deadline looming over my head. I quickly realized that setting realistic goals and time restraints on how long I would work on certain pieces was necessary.
Spending Time to Find New Music is Time Well Spent
For me music is an essential part of creating and the piece that I am working on dictates what tunes I need in order to keep me going. This means that having a huge range of songs to pull from is essential to productivity. A more introspective piece? Might be time for some Father John Misty. A catchy piece? My current go to is The Chainsmokers.
Falling Asleep Might Take Longer Than it Used To
Start brewing tea before bed. Deliberately turn off all screens half an hour before bed time. Read more books. Make sure to mentally transition out of idea mode before you turn the lights off, or you’re in for an uphill battle my friend.
Now is the Time to Practice the Art of Detachment
“It takes guts and character to amend creative work.” There will be whole pieces that you will walk away from, there will be paragraphs that you delete, there will be drafts that your co-workers simply aren’t feeling. I have personally written hundreds of pieces that will never know a home besides their electronic Word folder or the journal where they are scribbled. Write because you love it, if your piece happens to stumble upon an audience don’t get too excited, it’s time to start writing the next one.
Being Present in the World is the Most Crucial Part of the Role
Good writing and art is an honest reflection of the world that we live in. It is vulnerable and honest and relatable. In order to produce things that people care about you have to observe and participate diligently in what is going on around you. This is why I love writing, it’s not just about sitting behind a computer screen it’s also about living fully and with intention. You can’t tell good stories if you don’t go out and make them first.