There’s been a flurry of articles written recently about how working a full-time, nine-to-five, “grown up” job is terrible for creative people. According to these pieces, creative people need to devote all the time they can get to doing just that — creating. There’s supposedly not enough free time, flexibility, or inspiration in typical desk jobswhere you sit in a cubicle, even if the work is somewhat creative.
Many of us are raised to view being creative as an all-or-nothing objective proposition — either you’re making a living from your creative work, or you’re not a creative person. Starving artists get romanticized, but it isn’t as simple as that. We can’t forget that these starving artists didn’t have the pressure most recent graduates have to pay bills and loans.
Today, it is far more common for people to sit at a desk from nine to five, waiting until that part of their day is done so they can back to doing what they love doing — working on their creative projects. As someone who considers herself a creative person, but also has bills to pay, I know that I can’t realistically abandon my nine-to-five job in order to write full-time right now, even though writing is something I love. Instead, I work full-time at an insurance company. (It worked for Wallace Stevens, after all.)
While it is a challenge, there are ways to make you creative passions work while still having a full-time day job, even in the minimal free time you have after working a full day. Here are nine tips that I think can help anyone looking to have the best of both worlds.