Some days I feel like a superhero hiding a secret identity, minus the superpowers, cool gadgets, and nifty lair.
By day, I am Marie Young, bespectacled mild mannered writer, working with an amazing creative team at Penn State. By night, I am Young Creative, artist and small business owner.
My story isn’t unique. Many creative people lead a double life. We work 40+ hours in our “real job” and then put in more hours nurturing our creative baby. Some of you even throw real babies into the mix. Amazing!
Working full-time while you pursue your creative passion is exhausting. Both jobs need your full attention, and yet you can’t neglect your family, health, or happiness either. Since I can’t create more hours in the day, I have to find ways to pep up productivity. Here are a few of my favorites:
Know your creative clock.
Mornings are my most creative time. By evening my brain cells are dying off. That’s good news for my day job, not so good news for my creative baby that is relegated to the night shift.
To minimize the creative drop off, I try to set aside Saturday morning for major creative undertakings and use the evenings to do more task-oriented things that don’t require as much thought.
Take time to make time.
Set aside time to plan for the upcoming week. What do you want to do? What supplies do you need to do it? When you are stressed you forget things. If everything is written down, you have a better chance of getting it all done.
Do something that matters.
This is really hard. Everything about the creative process is seductive. I love reading inspiring magazines, visiting artist forums, looking at eye-candy. There are so many rabbit holes to slip though. I have to remind myself, “You can’t have sales without products.”
Oh, that’s right. No products, no sales. I really should go and finish some inventory.