Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Can Creative People Make a Living Doing What They Love? {+Updates!}

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I have never had the desire to work at a "normal" career. While others my age were applying for jobs at sixteen, I was at home writing a book that I didn't make money from until three years later. 

I spoke with my mom about this the other day--how I don't think I would ever want a job that is unrelated to any of my passions. 

She told me she has always been the same way. 

Why sacrifice what you love in order to find a more "stable" job, especially when there are countless ways you can make money in your area of expertise?

Sure, it may be frightening when you try to make a living off of your creative field. But I don't think it's impossible.

In fact, my mom hasn't had a job unrelated to her passion since she was a teenager working at Burger King. 

Since then, she has made a living by making and selling cabbage patch dolls; painting the cuffs of socks (in the 90s); being an art director at a screen printing company; faux finishing and painting murals for homes, schools, and restaurants; teaching art lessons to kids; holding art camps; and is now beginning a new business in creating art kits for kids.

Of course, I'm not saying that some people may have to work at a job unrelated to their art. At least for a season. 

But I believe that God has given each of us a gift, and it is our job to discover what that is and how to incorporate that into our career. 

I've never quite understood the concept behind working at a job you don't enjoy, just so you can have money, just so you can live survive ... and just so you can work at a job that you don't enjoy. 

Don't you think we were called to a greater purpose than to simply get by in life?

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Yes, it is risky to not have a stable income. 

But if you are creative, then use your creativity by figuring out how to make a living by doing what you love.

Who knows? You could become even better off financially if you do pursue your creative field than you would have in another. 

Sure, trying to make a living by doing what I love is a risk. 
Yet it's a risk I'm willing to take. 

The creative life is exciting.

The possibilities of the ideas you could come up with are endless! You might even surprise yourself at the art you will produce.

Nothing compares to that feeling of brainstorming a new idea--whether it's for a new book, a business, an article, etc. And giving birth to it, watching it grow and take on a life of its own, is priceless.  
The creative life is spontaneous. 

The beauty of art is that it isn't limited to a certain structure. Five years from now you could be in a completely different avenue in your career than you are today. 

New projects will come. An idea may spark in the most unlikeliest moments. Your career could bring you to mountaintops you didn't think were possible. That's what's so exciting about the creative life: it is constantly full of surprises. 

There is never a dull moment. 
In the creative life, you always have something to look forward to--whether it is the birth of a new idea, anticipation of the future, watching a project take off, or hearing what others have said about your art. 

If you pursue a career in the arts, there will always be something to look forward to. 

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When Steve Jobs dropped out of college to begin Apple Inc., the odds were definitely not in his favor. 

But even when he could not find someone who would fund his company, he didn't give up. Jobs was determined to go against the standard way of living by pursuing his passion. 

If it hadn't been for that--as well as his creativity, passion, and perseverance--Apple Inc. would have have never been born.

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So don't ignore your desire to create by searching for a job that has nothing to do with your passions. 

Besides, why settle when you can instead get paid doing what you love?

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Speaking of careers in the arts . . . 

I have a few updates I want to share with you guys!

  • First of all, I've decided to start my very first online store. Zazzle is a site that allows you to create your own designs, upload them to various products, and sell them to customers. My products are for the book-lovers, coffee-lovers, and Jesus-lovers--hence the name Life, Literature, and Lattes. Click here to start shopping
  • My mom and I are also gearing towards opening a shop on Etsy, in which we will sell hand-crafted journals. =) 
  • I have my first speaking "gigs" next week--one at a homeschool group, and the other at the school that I graduated from. (Prayers are greatly appreciated!)
  • Also . . . I have some really exciting news! Unfortunately, I can't share it with you until it is "officially" official. So I'll keep my mouth shut until then. But make sure to stay tuned on my blog, and sign up for my newsletter (located on the sidebar) so you don't miss any special announcements! =) 

(See? There is never a dull moment when you have a career in the arts. ;) )

♡ ♡ 

Do you think creative people can build a career around doing what they enjoy? Have you found success in doing this?
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  1. Tessa! I love this post so much :D This is really inspiring, and it came at the right time. Right now I'm trying to figure out what I want to study in college, and I keep thinking that maybe instead of pursuing writing, I should focus on something else more "useful." However, you're so right. God has blessed each of us with special gifts that we should put to use. I also loved hearing about how your mom has been using her gifts. Thanks so much for this post!

    And I'm so excited to hear those updates! I'll be looking forward to that upcoming announcement :)

    1. Thank you, Jillian! I’m so glad that you found this post helpful. Of course, pursuing writing is definitely not going to guarantee a stable income—but again, there are so many ways you could make money in the industry. You just have to keep persevering. And personally, I would much, much rather have a job that I love, even if it doesn’t pay that much, rather than vice versa.


  2. Good news! I've joined the school writing club! I had no clue they had one till I saw the poster for it on the cafeteria door and I am glad I finally found a group that I can fit in to! YAY!!!!

    1. That’s so awesome, Evan! Have you had your first meeting yet? Let me know how it goes!

  3. This post is AMAZING. Due to my anxiety and depression working outside the home has been a years long struggle for me. I've dreamed of becoming a stay at home mom, housewife, and writer for years longer than that. I am currently blessed to be HOME, blogging and working on my novel. This post motivates me to keep going, to find whatever way possible to make a few dollars to help Justin take care of us. I know God will provide - just today I won 20$ for amazon and redeemed 10$ more there from Swagbucks. It's not much but I know my money will grow if I work hard and keep following my passion. Pinned!

    1. Ah that’s awesome! Amazon gift cards always come in handy when you want new books. =) And you’re right, I have seen God provide for my family so many times in the past. If you’re doing want He wants you to do, then you can always trust that He will come through financially.

      Anyway, I’m glad you found this inspiring! Thank you for pinning it. =)

  4. Wow, you would not believe how much I love this. I definitely believe that God wants you to use the passions He has given you as a career. And even if that passion as a career generally is not known to be successful in terms of money, I believe God makes way for you to be successful. It's His will, after all.
    And your store looks lovely. I shall have to buy something when I can afford it. =)

    1. Exactly! I trust God’s will for my life way more than my own. Things may not always logically make sense when you’re following Him, but that's the whole point of faith, right? =)

      Thank you for commenting!

  5. This is such a great post, I've learnt so much from it! Thank you for this wonderful post!<3
    I followed you, you have such an amazing blog:)
    The Journeys' of my beating heart

    1. Aw thank you! I'm following you now as well. =)

      God bless!

  6. Great post! It is just wanted I needed.

  7. An interesting post! :) Unfortunately, since I'm not published or anywhere near being ready, I don' think I'll be making money any time soon... but I agree that it isn't about the money. Often when my dad would talk to me or one of my sisters about going to college, he encouraged us to do what we wanted, not what would make us the most money. Though, money is kind of a necessity in life, unfortunately... haha!

  8. Thank you fro this Post Tessa ! it really helped me since I'm already a senior and thinking if what course should i take if its what i like or the course that will end up i'll be getting a job but i think i'll go with what course i want because in that way i'll be successful :)

    Hugs from the Philippines

  9. I hope to be a writer someday. And maybe an editor. And maybe get good enough at photography so I can sell my pics. Anyway, hopefully it will be something creative like that. So.... I'm taking small steps in that direction, which is probably good. :) Thanks for the post!

    1. WHAT did I say? I want to be an AUTHOR, I already write. :)

    2. Me too. I Joined the school writing club so I could meet with writers like me every monday after school

  10. Hey Tessa, if you are still doing that tour to different states to promote your book I have a request. Can you speak at my school's writing club i'm part of? I know this is a long shot but it would be nice if ya could. The group has ten to fifteen kids along with the 2 teachers who host it for students interested in writing. If you could come to the club that would be cool. If you say you can I will ask about you being a guest speaker on Monday after scheen when the club meets. I would have to have the club host's permission, along with the other club member's opinion to have a guest speaker. pleasenrespond


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