For those of you / us working as artists + other paid work, it can feel like a struggle between:

  • the things that bring us joy, and
  • the things that bring in the bigger bucks.

When we’re lucky, sometimes we get both. When I started FUNKY BROWN CHICK in 2005, it was how I supported my writing. Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of being a writer. In fact, as a teen, the first piece I ever wrote that a newspaper published was “Pompon squad members are motivated, challenged,” — a riveting (if I do say so myself) op-ed about why sports are good for girls! But, I didn’t think I could actually make a living writing. You can read more about that here and here.

GETTING MY SHIT TOGETHER

Over time, as my writing career progressed, I stumbled upon Getting Your Sh*t Together: The Ultimate Business Manual for Every Practicing Artist. It taught me to stop sending pithy emails to request payment and to set up a proper invoicing system. I’ve made a lot of mistakes throughout my career. It’s how I’ve been able to grow, learn, and change my ways. I still come down really hard on myself, but I’m trying to do that less.

DOES IT BRING YOU JOY?

I’m focusing on — and having faith in — creativity, whether that’s about:

After recently ruminating about spending more time on creative projects, one of my small business accountability partners suggested I watch Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech. It’s long, but I recommend it.

[Watch the clip] | [Read the transcript]

Neil explains advice he received about his art: “This is really great. You should enjoy it.” Here’s more:

“And I didn’t. Best advice I got that I ignored. Instead I worried about it. I worried about the next deadline, the next idea, the next story. There wasn’t a moment for the next fourteen or fifteen years that I wasn’t writing something in my head, or wondering about it. And I didn’t stop and look around and go, this is really fun.”

So, I’m focusing on having more fun. Whoever you are and wherever you are, I wish the same for you.