Keep Your Creativity Alive while Working Nine to Five
10 ways to keep your creativity purring.
It’s a familiar story: you have a nine to five job but have a vision for yourself as a writer, painter, author or musician. While you’re not quite financially ready to take the leap into pursuing your creative passion full-time, there are still ways to keep the creative juices alive, so you are continuously working on your craft.
Here are 10 ideas to keep your creativity purring while maintaining a day job:
1. Create a routine
It’s easy to go to work, come home and veg out. It’s understandable: it’s tiring having a full-time job while trying to pursue side projects. However, creating a daily routine, similar to working out every day, will keep you motivated and help you progress toward your goals. Perhaps this could be 20 minutes a day of free writing, or practicing your instrument for 30 minutes a night.
2. Take a class
Sometimes you need an event to hold you accountable – there are many writing classes, singing groups or Meetups you can join to keep you in practice. This also keeps you on your toes, so you are continuously learning new ways to enhance your creative passion.
3. Get an accountability buddy
It’s one thing to tell yourself you’re going to keep up your creative practice, and it’s another to have someone hold you accountable. Enlist the help of a friend who’s also interested in keeping up their creative pursuits. Have a daily or weekly check-in to see what you’ve accomplished that day.
4. Have a designated space
Sometimes you simply need to be in the right space to get creative. There are many coworking spaces, event spaces or even coffee shops that are ideal locations for you to get your creative work done. Perhaps you have a favorite tea or coffee shop that you can visit, once or twice a week, to work on creative projects. If you prefer to stay home, create a creative sanctuary or design studio where you can work.
5. Give yourself time to get inspired
On the other side of the coin, you need time and space to get inspired. One of the best places to do this is outside. Give yourself time every week to visit the beach, the mountains or your favorite creative workspace. You can also gain inspiration from art, concerts or people on the streets.
6. Fight off the naysayers and your inner self-critic
There will always be someone doubting you – including yourself. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had family say that “it’s not possible,” and I’ve continued to prove them wrong.
Let go of the inner critic that says you’re not talented enough or that you’ll never succeed, or that it’s a pipe dream. Hold the vision in your heart and take steps to get there. If you have the dedication and the passion, you will achieve your goals.
7. Educate yourself
Knowledge is power. If you’re interested in photography, for example, take a course. Watch YouTube videos. Read books. Take classes. Get a mentor. Education is power, and the more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in yourself to establish your creative routine and goals.
8. Set goals
It’s one thing to practice and another to be working toward an end-goal. If your vision is to write a book, set a strict manuscript due date for yourself. Musicians can book a gig. Many creatives could benefit from setting a “live” date for their websites. As with any other business endeavor, set dates for yourself, so you’re actively working toward your creative project.
9. Get extra rest
With a full-time job and a creative project on the side, it’s that much more important that you’re well-rested. Burnout can lead to frustration and stagnation in creative projects. The better rested and healthy you are, the more you can achieve.
10. Reward yourself
After setting and meeting your end goals, reward yourself with a nice dinner, a trip or something to celebrate all of your hard work. You deserve it.