Can you relate? I’ve been struggling to find Work-Art balance since I was in high school.
I want to write and paint and knit and read and doodle, and yet I also need to pay for rent and groceries and save for retirement. Both creative health and financial health are important to me and I’m not willing to skimp on either.
Not every artist or writer wants to go the “starving artist” route; and yet, when you have a day-job, you have much less time and energy to get your art or writing done.
Still, your art and writing is important and worth fighting for. Artists need to make art. Writers need to write.
When we don’t, part of us shrivels up and throws a shade over the other fulfilling parts of our lives. When our artist-selves thrive, that health radiates into other areas too; we’re happier, more patient in relationships, more well rounded.
You can find a way to begin to balance your art and your work life. You don’t need to starve, and you don’t need to sacrifice your art.
“Live a balanced life: learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” Robert Fulghum
I’ve tried lots of different tips and routines, and honestly I’m still working on attaining this balance.
Work-Art balance is a practice, one I need to make an effort toward every day.
It’s built into our culture to get the “work” part done; I have a day-job with set hours and I need to be there in person Monday through Friday. The key is to set a similar container for my art and keep myself accountable to make sure it happens despite needing to spend 9 hours commuting and sitting at work each weekday.
You probably don’t have an art boss “paying” you for the hours you do your art, but you do pay yourself in another currency when you make time for your art; peace, mental health, self-respect, gratitude.
Consider making a Creative Bank to represent this unseen currency.
* Make a clear jar into a piggy-bank. Create cardboard coins or decorate poker chips to represent your creative currency and deposit a coin each time you work on your art. At the end of the week, notice how full your piggy-bank has gotten!
* Make a ledger for your art-ccounting budget. When you do art, add some “funds” for that day. If you don’t do art, subtract “funds” for that day. Notice if you’re in the red or in the black and balance your creative budget regularly.
Make time for your art. Heal your work-art bitterness and start building some work-art balance in your life. Work and art don’t need to be at war.