The Brutal Truth About Working as a Creative

Written by: Susan Hang

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for anything else…

But, what you perceive on the outside isn’t always as prestigious as it seems. Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard that a million times before – and yes we all know there’s good and bad, but I’m here to shed some very real perspective. Everyone is different so I can only speak to the struggles of working as a 50% creative, 50% non creative.

Inspiration just doesn’t come sometimes.

This is my biggest battle… When I’m writing thousands of words per day, I naturally go through periods where I just can’t write anymore. No matter how much I read, how many breaks I take, and how many photos I look at, my inspiration juices are dry. That’s a very scary place to be in especially when your career relies on it! Inspiration is random… I go through spurts where I can write all day and then spurts where I can barely write a word for an entire week… It drives me mad.

working as a creativeDistraction is the enemy.

Although I’ve gotten a million times better at dealing with distractions, but I can’t deny that they still happen… There are days I find myself wasting a lot of time doing things that aren’t so important, but that’s not to say I don’t get my work done… I think we can all be a little more efficient and productive. Unfortunately, the Internet and social networks are distractions in themselves albeit being a part of the job. Distraction from the job and because of the job are pretty equal in my case. Meaning if I’m working, I might stop to wash the dishes and throw some clothes in the laundry. However, during dinner, I’ll also stop eating to check some emails, post some Instagrams, or whatever… You just have to find the balance.

Flexibility isn’t always so flexible.

It’s funny how when your friends and family know you work from home and make your hours, everyone starts to think that you’re constantly available. Sure, I can be flexible, but remember the first point… Inspiration just doesn’t come knocking all the time, which takes away a lot of flexibility. When inspiration hits, it’s time to hit the ground running or else you risk throwing away that jolt of energy to create.

The lines are blurred.

The boundaries between work and home life can get so blurred that it gets hard to distinguish what’s what… Being in the same place all the time can feel like a dark cloud looming over especially when you have a stressful situation at home. I’m still working on taking lunch breaks or quick strolls outside for a breather.

Not everything you do or touch interests you.

Everyone assumes your job is so easy because you “love what you do”. Sure, if you take on projects that really interest you, then working as a creative is naturally easier. However, when running a business, it’s not always feasible to only select the tasks that you enjoy. There are things that still need to be done even when you don’t want to do it. As a writer, I am sometimes obligated to write about things I’m not necessarily interested in, or about topics I’ve written about dozens and dozens of time. However, I still have to write in the best possible way even if I’m not in the “mood”.

These are the realities of my work I don’t often speak open up about, which I’m sure any other creative can relate to. Have you had similar experiences? Don’t forget to share below!


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Image source credits – Tommy Ton


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