Balancing creativity and getting paid

Is it even possible?

I know a lot of you who get this email consider yourselves to be “creative-types.”

Whether you are working as a full-time creative professional or simply getting your creative kicks on the side, finding time to do the things you love is always a struggle. Especially when your job involves an element of “creation” - be it writing content, delivering design work, building products or any other creative pursuits.

Often, we only leave the dregs of our creative juices for our own means and, as a result, we are drained and left void of inspiration.

Since going freelance, I’ve definitely found more opportunity to be creative. I am grateful to be creative every day with clients, but I’m not going to sit here and say writing about energy compliance or CRM hacks is my lifelong passion.

Unfortunately, we live in a (capitalist) society. So, even if you don’t measure your self-worth against your bank account, you still need to earn money to meet your basic needs.

So, how do you balance your passion and your purse strings?

Well, considering I have been sending this newsletter every single week for (almost) a whole year, yet I still can't dedicate time to write it during the working day, maybe I'm not best placed to answer that question.

To add to that, we recently started a podcast and have been regularly recording and editing on the evenings and weekends in a (poor) effort to balance content creation for clients with my passion of talking about mental health, work culture and anti-hustle culture.

I recently made a tongue-in-cheek LinkedIn post about how I am great at planning ahead for clients but always leave my own content until last minute.

Why is it that, even after all this time, I treat my own creative output as second to paid work? Especially when the prior raises my profile and, ultimately, brings in more work.

Let this week’s newsletter be a promise to myself to start writing the newsletter during work hours and prioritising my own creative pursuits (writing, podcasting, illustration) with the time I free up by outsourcing admin tasks that zap my time.

Do you find it easy to find time to be creative/do unpaid work/create the things you love? Let me know on Twitter if you have any tips!


📚 The Death of Vivek Oji by by Akwaeke Emezi

A devastating and beautifully written tale about the death of Vivek Oji, a young Nigerian who is found dead outside his mother’s front door. Emezi slowly reveals Vivek’s secret world through the eyes of his close friends and family. This is a tough read but worth it.

🎥 I Am Mother (Netflix)

Fans of mind-bending sci-fi will love this one that keeps you guessing until the end. If you liked Ex Machina, Possessor and Arrival, then this one’s for you.

🎙 Born in the USA: Renegades

If you know me at all, then you’ll be aware of my Bruce Springsteen obsession - this gal has the tattoos to prove she’d die for The Boss. Renegades is a brand new podcast from Bruce and 🚨BARACK OBAMA🚨 Yep, you read that right.


Episode #4 of our podcast is out now!

This week, we welcomed our first guest onto the podcast! Freelance copywriter and content marketer Katie Thompson came to tell us about how she went freelance, as well as a heartfelt discussion about losing a parent - her Dad passed away weeks before my Mam from the same cancer, so we found we had a lot in common.

Watch on YouTube:

Or listen on Spotify:


Enjoyed this? You might like these past issues:

24 February: The day I lost a client

17 February: How to talk to someone who is struggling

10 February: Learning to say no and other lessons from two years of self-employment

3 February: Learning to find joy in the mundane

27 January: No you can’t

20 January: I’ll be happy when

13 January: Why you’re tired all the time

6 January: Just keep going

23 December: A book recommendation for every mood

16 December: Burnout might not be what you think it is

9 December: Whatever happened to ‘be kind?’

2 December: The best briefs are anything but