For most of us, one of our big goals is to make enough money at our creative work to support ourselves full time. This emphasis on being a full-time artist can work to our disadvantage. While plenty of people make a good living writing, acting, and painting, many people do not. If you have a day job or a side hustle to support yourself while you create, you are not a failure!

Day jobs put food on your table and pay the rent so that you can create. In fact, there are some personality types that can only excel at their art when they feel financially stable. Sometimes having a day job is not only the right move: it’s the smart move.

I know an actress who writes, produces and stars in her own films. She is very busy and works a lot. She recently confessed on social media that she still waits tables. Being a waitress doesn’t make her a failure as an actor. It gives her the freedom to make and star in her own projects.

I have another friend who is a successful fine artist. She regularly has shows at art galleries and her pieces always sell. She has chosen to have a day job so that she can have health insurance and save for retirement.

Even bestselling authors have day jobs. One of my favorite writers, ‚ÄčLauren Willig‚Äč, was a graduate student in history, then a law student, and then a lawyer at a huge New York law firm four years before she decided to write full time. That was after she had traditionally published a series of 10 bestselling books.

If you’re at the place in your career but you’re having to juggle a day job and your creativity, I urge you to embrace the challenge of time and energy management. Sometimes the limits a day job puts on our creative hours make us more productive. I’ve heard from a lot of authors that they found finding time to write harder once they were home full time.

Be proud of your accomplishments. Don’t compare yourself to other people. You don’t know what they did to get where they are. You don’t know what they’re doing now. They may have a day job or even two.


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