4 Ways to Embrace a Creative Outlet
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Facts about me: I take on too much. I have a hard time saying no. I write down daily, weekly, monthly personal and professional goals. I take things personally if I don't succeed and I get antsy when time is not on my side. I have a full-time job, two full-time side hustles (this blog West Coast Aesthetic and my freelance creative business Allison Wagner Design) and one publicized creative venture (Seattle Creative Brunch) and many others in the works. I'm asked often if I manage to find time for sleep, if I get bored / feel creatively drained and if I get stressed out? The answer to all of the above is YES. I also get asked how I balance it all, and the truth is, I'm still figuring that part out. But here's a few important things I've learned in the process.
1. Make your side hustle, yours.
Creative outlets are personal and no matter the stress, frustration and confusion that comes with them, they should most importantly be fun and bring positivity to your life. After all, if you're pouring a lot of time and effort into a side hustle, don't you want it to be something you actually want to do? No matter what side hustle you pursue, do it for yourself. Determine how it will benefit you, connect you to yourself and others and the rest will fall into place.
I started West Coast Aesthetic almost 3 years ago, for myself. This creative outlet has grown and with it, so have I. But if there's one thing I'm proud of it is that this blog has remained true to its purpose: fueling me with inspiration and allowing me to produce and share personal content that inspires others!
2. Go all in.
If you're going to have a creative outlet, go all in. Make your creative outlet(s) a priority in your life and remember why you started it when life gets busy. I've found having multiple creative outlets to 'get lost in' when life is stressful, keeps me sane. Launching and maintaining a creative outlet can be time consuming, so make sure you are ready to dive into the deep end.
3. Patience is a virtue, but really.
I'm trying to get better at this. No matter what your goals are for your creative outlet, if you're like me, you want to see instant results and receive that instant gratification. The reality is, that's not how life always works. Embrace patience and be realistic about the timing of things, especially in the saturated creative environment in which we live.
4. Community over competition.
This is probably the most important advice I have for those with a side hustle -- no matter what it is. You're never going to get anywhere in life (professionally, creatively or personally) if you are so focused on being #1 that it makes you burn bridges with the best resources in the world...those in your creative field! Remember, there's room here for all of us to collaborate and succeed.