How Badly Do You Want It?

If it's worth having, it's worth extreme effort. (Excerpt from Have Fun, Get Paid: How to Make a Living With Your Creativity)

It doesn’t matter what type of creativity you’re drawn to. You’re going to have lots of competition. The room was crowded enough before the days of a global computer network. Now, thanks to the Internet, you compete for work with every other person on the planet.

If you want to get paid, you’re going to have to step outside of your comfort zone. It’s not enough for you to sit back, do the fun artistic things, and expect someone else to make the work magically appear. You have to actively engage, or that work will go to someone who does. This brings up an entirely new set of things for you to consider as you contemplate your naval.

Building a career of any description requires effort above and beyond improving your creative skills. How many hours a week are you willing to work at it? For most of us, doing all that businesslike stuff of beating the bushes and looking for work is unappealing to say the least. Without that effort, however, you simply won’t get any results. No pain, no gain.

You need to be honest with yourself about how hard, and how consistently, you’re willing to work on the noncreative side of things. Only then can you put together a plan of action based on reality, which is the only kind that ever succeeds. If you tell yourself that you’ll spend four hours a night, five days a week, to address the career aspects of your art and base your strategy on that, what happens when you find that you can barely force yourself to spend two hours once a week?

If you’re driven by a creative urge that won’t be denied, you’re going to have to work hard to have a successful career at it, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full-time artist. It’s going to require a great-many compromises and hard decisions, forcing you to take a close look at your priorities and to plan based on reality rather than wishful thinking. I’ve had a great time with life thus far, and it only looks to be getting better. You can, too, but only if you’re willing to do the hard stuff.

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