My client Katharine recently celebrated turning thirty. She's emerging from her Saturn Return, re-evaluating what it means for her to become a creative professional. Maybe you'll see yourself in what she asked me:
I really love to create.
I feel like I'd lost that a little, but then I look at my recent activities in just the last month and I realize there's a pattern: I had the opportunity to work on the crew of an indie film, and brainstorm movie ideas with a writer friend… I co-authored a silly BuzzFeed style list on dating do's and don'ts… I wrote the marketing copy for a new product line and the inventors were really happy with what I came up with, it really fit their brand.
I'm so damn proud of what I create… I think I've rediscovered my creativity.
Can't I just find a job that lets me be creative, with time each day to get in a yoga class and still socialize with my friends? Is that asking too much?
I told her it depends -- whom are you asking? Yourself, some outside force, or another person?
If you're like many creative professionals, your ideal career may never be a job somebody else makes for you, it's something you may have to literally create (yourself) in order for it to even exist.
I know that sounds like a challenge, but not pursuing your creative purpose is a million times more painful than trying.
Denying your passion is even worse than failing.
Avoiding, procrastinating, repressing, suppressing... those are all much more challenging, time consuming, exhausting, and soul crushing than any effort to do the work.
Whatever age you are, wherever it is you think you're supposed to be at this point in your life…
It is never too late to be who you might have been. George Eliot
You're the only one who will suffer by waiting to pursue the life you want.
There's really very little separating who you are as a creative person, and what you believe a creative professional is… it really does come down to just doing it -- being louder about your work, being fearless to share it with others, being okay with its not being a perfect masterpiece, and ultimately, humbly being able to own your skill and desire enough to do the work, and say Yes, I deserve to be compensated for my efforts.
You don't have to worry about obtaining the life you want, you just have to pursue obtaining it. Do you see the distinction?
You'll never feel "finished" anyway. Lean in the direction you want to go, pace yourself, and keep it moving.
Image credit h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons on Flickr