“ If creating more means living less, I don’t think that’s worth it.”
In my most recent podcast with PME, which you can find here, we talked about how much we’ve both changed in our two years of creating. The topic of creating consistently came up and I realized this was something I needed to talk about more.
During that podcast I talked about how my focus isn’t 100% on creating anymore. After editing and listening back to the episode, I feel like I didn’t articulate my point the way I wanted to. I said that my goal wasn’t to be a full time creator – which is somewhat true. But it’s not because I’ve lost any desire to create for a living. I still do plan to create for a living and I still do feel the need to create often.
I don’t have my full focus on being a full time creator right now because I don’t have the space to grind at it like I want to.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t try or that I don’t plan to make a living as a writer someday. It just means that I know that my journey will be a long and wavy one.
I won’t be writing 24/7 or get published anytime soon, but I am taking steps to get there.
I used to feel bad about taking breaks. I thought it made me some kind of lazy failure. If I wasn’t making a video, blog, and podcast every week I was behind. I was a phony. I would never get anywhere.
The imposter syndrome is real.
I thought that if I scaled back my creating, for any reason, it would mean that I didn’t love, care, or deserve it as much as others.
That was a narrow mindset that I’m learning to expand.
I appreciate Gary Vee and the way he inspires myself and others. I appreciate the way he’s made me rethink my choices at times which has helped me optimize my projects and their impact.
However, I don’t appreciate how this subculture of “grinding” has made me feel bad about the times in my life where I can’t do more than I am doing. It’s not intended to make people feel that way, but if you’re like me it just might.
You could be doing everything you can to create outside of your other obligations, and still feel like Gary would be disappointed in your 2 year progress update.
I don’t think Gary is talking to me, or you, when he says “get off the couch and do something”. Mainly because I don’t own a couch or have the time to even sit around on one. But also because I am doing something almost all the time.
I do sometimes feel my insecurities creep up when I realize that my life could be more creative, but I’m the one who’s chosen other things over creativity.
I’d have lots of time to create if I were single, living with a family member who charged me cheap rent, or had no pets.
Those are objective truths, but I refuse to change these things about my life. That shouldn’t make me a bad creator.
I love my fiance and if I wanted to full-time grind on creating I would have to leave her and my pets behind to move somewhere cheaper. I’m just not willing to do that. I also don’t want to subject her or my pets to living a rough life because I want to live the life of the “struggling artist.”
I write. I’m writing this article right now. When I take my lunch break at work I create. When I get home from work I sometimes create late into the night. But working anywhere from 40 to 50+ hours a week with a family, chores, and other commitments doesn’t leave me with much time to be a creator.
This is where things began to change for me.
My mindset shifted when I realized that I could still chase my dream of being a full time creator without depriving myself of the life I want to live.
I went from hating breaks, tasks, and daily life chores to realizing that my creative dream is just going to have to be a slower paced journey.
I do have a lot on my plate. I’m starting my family, learning to see the world in new ways (thanks to my fiance and friends), trying to get myself into a more stable career, paying bills, raising pets, working on my health, and being a creator.
I could create more, but if I did that I’d have to sacrifice something. I’m not willing to cut back on family time, fiance time, health, or pets. That just leaves me with work and sleep. If I give up work I lose everything – clearly not a real option right now – and sleep is not for the weak. It’s for people who like themselves.
I don’t see myself as “stuck”, though on the worst days it feels that way. I see myself as inbetween.
I’m still discovering who I am, what I like, and what I really want to do with my life. I take little chances all the time and constantly try to put myself in new situations to grow and learn. I create about one thing a week right now, which isn’t much, but it only takes one amazing article or story to change my mind or life.
I consider everything I do progress. Which is why I think Gary wouldn’t hate me so much if he knew me.
Even though it’s been said a million times before I finally understand: It’s a mindset thing. Like PME and I said, we both feel successful within ourselves regardless of our stats.
I’m proud of him and I’m proud of myself. We have very different journeys, but they’re both real and they’re both a big part of our lives. Comparing numbers never matters, the thing that unifies us as friends and creators is that we do this from our hearts, and there’s no judgment here.
Thanks to him I feel like I’m finally able to articulate how I feel and move past my imposter syndrome so I can get back to it.
I can still start a family and work my day job while doing what I love. Even if it’s between 0.5- 2 hours of creating a day.
Play games with your friends, take a break, and don’t get too intimidated by people who are saying you need to work 4+ hours a day to be worthy of your creative endeavor.
If you’re putting your best foot forward, you’re doing great. You don’t need to suffer or ruin your mental or physical health to be a valid creator.
I would create in the mornings before work, but that’s my workout and eat/ make healthy meals. Which in my experience can be even more important than grinding out all the time. Do what suits you best, and if you can adjust your life to create more, go for it.
But if creating more means living less, I don’t think that’s worth it.
Until Next Time,