Thursday, 17 February 2011

Freedom, Money, Time

I've just been reading a rather interesting ebook called Lateral Action by Mark McGuinness. In it he claims creatives need three things to achieve happiness in their day-to-day working lives:
  • freedom
  • money
  • time
Freedom to do what you want (creatively and as a 'job), and the freedom to do it when you want. For many this means flexible working times, variety and, most importantly, choice. For me this is especially important. I get bored doing the same things over and over again. While routine is sometimes welcome, repetition and rote are not.

Money means financial rewards and proper remuneration for what a creative person does. There's nothing more demotivating than slogging your guts off for something you love and never seeing any financial returns. It makes you doubt your own skills. It makes you question whether you should continue. It's also the number one reason many creative individuals end up taking 'normal' jobs at the cost of the creative industries. Creatives need time to be creative, which means they need money to free them up. If they have to work three part-time jobs in restaurants, bars and call centres, they're less likely to be out there making art or contributing to our cultural economy.

As a young writer I understand this problem most of all. For a long time I had little to no money, and this was very deflating. My productivity dropped and I began to wonder if it would ever happen . . . but luckily, I soldiered on, determined, and convinced I would one day be rewarded for my hard work. I did all those awful jobs no one wants to do, and pretty much lived off the support and goodwill of friends. Then I got a lucky break--and before I knew it, people were actively commissioning me for new work, or getting in touch to book me for workshops and lectures. Things came together. This inspired me so much my productivity went through the roof and my happiness with it.

Time ties in with both freedom and money. If you're always working hard, desperate to pay your bills, then you don't have time to pursue artistic endeavours. You don't have the freedom to be creative.

This is a very interesting argument, and one I wholly agree with. Why don't you check it out and see how you can increase not only your productivity but your happiness as well?

Here's the link to Mark McGuinness' free ebook.

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