writing doesn’t pay very much, but we do it anyway. art doesn’t pay very much, but we do it anyway. some people get lucky, some people don’t. it appears to boil down to a combination of skill and chance in terms of who gets to make art for a living. i don’t think this needs to be the case, especially now that each of us with an internet connection has the potential to reach the entire world.
i run a podcast/video series that you may know about, and my goal is to figure out what people are doing right. i want so badly to get paid to do the thing i love – to write and to help creative folks make money. but this means i have to first learn how to make money for myself. that means having my day job. that means doing a lot of unpaid prep work.
it is disheartening and i don’t know when this will end, if it ever does. but i hold on to the hope that it will pay off. and my research suggests it just might. and the best i can do in the meantime is to try my best, and to take care of myself in the process.
“fridays were the days i would set aside for me,” says cordero core in our most recent interview on the orbit. cordero set aside specific times when he wouldn’t do his assigned work, and instead focus on things that interested him. now at 31, he has a ton of stories, skills, and hobbies along with his engineering degree.
i am taking a leaf out of his book today and trying to spend time doing focused play. my peers are so good at working hard and not very good at resting or enjoying themselves, so in a sense i think doing the things you love is a bit rebellious and revolutionary, and will take you to places you may have never found otherwise.
our world is engineered to keep us engaged as much as possible. our phones, jobs, and friends demand our attention at a relentless pace, and burnout is prevalent. i often find myself exhausted, but still trying to be productive and outgoing even when i am at wit’s end. as a good friend once told me, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”
my newsfeed is full of content that encourages me to take care of myself (@tinycarebot and @gumroad on twitter are some of my favorite online cheerleaders). even though i am reminded everywhere that “self care” is important, i still have trouble implementing it sometime. the simple answer? slow your roll. take a breather. don’t overthink it, and recline on the couch for awhile. the internet will be there when you come back refreshed and ready work.