Day Job Dilemma – Working Hard, Hardly Working or Just Not Having Time for Your Art?

Working seven-days-a-week is sometimes what we need to do to earn a living these days (due to shrinking salaries mismatching with rising costs of living.) And it sure does interfere with one’s ability to practice one’s instrument effectively.

Sure, I go through the motions of practicing scales, chord progressions and going over songs long since written… But in terms of getting inspired, of writing new songs or experimenting with new, original ideas and material, well, uh… that takes time.

I notice it on the rare days when I have off. Sometimes it takes more than one day for me to get the creative juices flowing. More than one day of freedom from working at a job that’s completely unrelated to the flow, I suppose you could say.

Don’t get me wrong. These days, one is lucky to have a job at all. But we artist types need time for our art. Generally that means this kind of a job:

–part time but pays enough to live on and to buy the equipment and materials we need in order to pursue our art. Creating art of any kind (whether it’s painting, playing music, or writing poetry) takes time. It takes an incredible amount of time to perfect any art form. Sadly, most non-artists don’t realize how much time and work we serious artists put into our what we do. If we got paid for all the time and energy we expended most of us would be millionaires–not the starving artists the majority of us become.

–flexible, offering flexible hours so that if we get a “gig,” we can take the time off needed in order to pursue. When we can’t make our art our priority then we can’t succeed at our art.

–either related to our art or not so demanding that we feel too drained to pursue our art when we come home. Sure, some people can come home from a soul-sucking job and write, paint, dance, or otherwise create it out, but most of the time a job that drains the life out of us leaves us uninspired. Many potentially talented artists lose their art this way.

Do we really want a society without art? Yes. I think some people do. They’d like to destroy every artist on the planet. We artists think for ourselves. We’re too independently minded to just follow the rules and blindly obey authority figures. We think outside the box and come up with new ideas that defy the old and established ones.

But as a whole, our society will crumble without art. Art keeps us mentally healthy. It gives us joy, even in dark times. We need art and so, we need artists.

Blah, blah, blah. Here I go, preaching again.

Onward and upward.

It’s back to work now in day job heaven. Talk to you soon… in hell.


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