The Downside of the Creative Life

I’m currently, and purposefully, not doing much creative work. I think it’s good to take breaks from creativity. It refills your tank. But there’s more downside to the creative life than we often want to admit.

I’ve created a lot of content in my life. I’ve written more than 1200 songs and a few hundred more pieces of music. I’ve written several books and hundreds of poems. I’ve owned and operated blogs about creativity, minimalism, writing, music, and blogging.

What do I have to show for all my work?

I have a lot of content. I’ve thrown a ton of stuff away, too. But I’m lucky if I’ve totaled more than a couple thousand dollars in income in ten years from my creative works. It becomes very disappointing. Still, I’ve never given up practicing my art. I likely never will. However, there are some practical considerations.

Creating music, books, songs, etc., takes time. Time is money. That’s why I’m choosing to take on a job that will likely require a lot of overtime. That’s why you’ll probably see less creative work coming from me in the coming months, maybe even years. I’m not sure exactly what that will look like.

If I had to guess…

I think my creative output will probably be reduced by 60-70 percent in the near future. So, instead of 50-80 songs a year, maybe 20? Same goes for poetry and electronic music. And I’m not even sure about that. Could be less, or more.

But the real downside of creativity in today’s world is that nobody really gives much of a shit. I don’t claim to be great, but I do feel that by practicing my art for most of my life, and having a large output of work, it gives me some credibility. Still, I’m lucky to get a handful of people to read or listen to my work.

Of course, money has never really been my driving force. I love to continually attempt to become a better artist. But art takes time. And it makes little sense to throw my time away. For what? – dse

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