i’ve been dreaming about quitting my day job for years
Of making a living – a real living – from creating beautiful jewellery and photographs…
In the reality of my world though, a day job is the only way to go.
Two kids, a loan, a fondness for holidays and all the money juggling that that entails, means that for me – for the moment – a steady income is not a choice. It doesn’t mean that I won’t stop dreaming. I like to think of my creative pursuits as Plan B – for when the paid job ceases to exist (which is a possibility in the field I work in).
If you listen, there is always chatter in the online world about quitting your day job – how ‘following your passion’ is the cure for all that ails you, if you work a 9-5.
the problem with passions is that they aren’t that unique
Everyone has their own passion. And it can be hard to succeed in your creative field when you’re competing against a whole lot of everyone else who has a similar dream.
It doesn’t mean that fame and fortune might not be just around the corner for you. But it does mean that the situations you might find yourself in won’t be perfect while you’re ‘doing what you love’.
And while there are artists who are willing to balance the life that feeds their souls with the one that puts food on the table, I’m far too fond of my current lifestyle and its perks to live a truly bohemian one.
So why keep the 9-5?
Here are 3 reasons to consider before you pitch it in, rent a bed-sit and create until your fingers bleed:
the passion gives way to the need to make money
Be honest with yourself here – are you still going to love your creative passion when you’re struggling to pay the bills?
Unless you’re so gifted that money just finds you, an inconsistent income is going to be a reality of quitting your day job.
Sure, you can prepare yourself financially prior to quitting, but what happens if you break your leg or prang your car? Do you have enough stashed away to survive a prolonged dry spell?
turning a passion into a business is a good way to kill the passion
You’ve had your morning coffee and sit/stand staring at a screen/canvas/blank page and the creative block has hit.
You have to have self-discipline to survive in your own business. You have to put in the hours, push through the creative blocks, minimise the distractions, stop losing focus - it’s your butt on the line now, and putting all that energy in to keeping the passion alive… well it can have the opposite effect.
happiness is the ultimate currency
Without the stresses of being your own boss, you can revel in the happiness of creativity – making beautiful things and sharing them with the world.
Because let’s face it – you can work a paid job and pursue your creative dreams as a hobby. There is nothing wrong with having the best of both worlds.
It’s a great opportunity to be the tortoise – to grow slowly and learn as you go. You’ll still love what you do, you’ll still be able to spend time with your family and you’ll still have a life outside of work. Happy, happy, joy, joy!
So now I open up comments!
share your story
Have you successfully followed your passion and recommend it to fellow creatives?
Did you try and fail?
Or are you simply happy to keep your creative passion a hobby like me?