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Creativity and business acumen

Hi all,

This is something I've been thinking about lately. Just now, I came from a meeting I have monthly with two other self-employed people to help me hammer out my budget and help me work on increasing my income. It's incredibly helpful to me and, among other things, reminds me that I'm doing pretty well. We spent a while trying to figure out how I could take $100 out of my spending plan or earn an extra $100.

We figured out what my priorities are (I'd rather find an extra $100 than cut back on anything I'm spending) and found ways to increase my income (do an extra two video reviews that pay me $50 each). And I walked home thinking again about how much more aware I am now, as a freelancer, that my job is creative. At the same time, I'm also very aware that my job is a job--that a big part of what I do is figure out how to have the money I need for the things I value.

I actually feel passionate about both of these things--about figuring out a business model that will work for me (that's why I'm focusing on only querying higher-paying markets and on dropping my lower-paying ones), and about writing creative, fun, interesting and nurturing things.

I realize, however, that most creative people think of their work as their passion and don't prioritize making money. I have a lot of freelance friends for whom making money is not nearly as important as having time for creative writing, etc. I see how tortured they are by having to choose between work they love that pays little or nothing at all (fiction writing is notorious for being difficult to make a living off of) and doing work that sucks the life out of them in order to pay their bills.

But I wonder what you guys think: For you, does it feel like prioritizing one over the other? Do you have both? Do you think you can have both? How does earning money change the kind of work you do?

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
queen_elvis
Jul. 9th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
I have basically abandoned my novel since going FT freelance, because I need to work on saying no to work I don't really need. I wanted to lay the groundwork for steady clients and earn lots of dough (nice change of pace!), and I did, but what's the point if I can't be flexible enough to write the novel that's gonna buy me a house? ;}

But I don't feel that my paid work is life-sucking or uncreative. Well, usually.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )