News


4 ways to have a creative career without neglecting your friendships

Sheila Chandra - Thursday, November 02, 2017

It’s an age old problem. You work strange hours. You’re working all hours to establish yourself or survive. Or you simply get so focused that you forget everything else. All these are reasons why your friendships and emotional support systems can suffer badly when you have a creative career. Too often, your clients are expecting the impossible of you – and you probably pretty much deliver it. But that’s not a sustainable way to live your life.

 

Male artists often underestimate the power of friendships

Comforting as the myth of the ‘tough guy’ is, it’s not a healthy role model. All of us, male or female, need people we can share fears with, be emotional and vulnerable with, and gain comfort from. And I think creative people need it more than most, because of the pressures of their careers. Many men expect their girlfriends or wives to do this for them, and unconsciously believe that friendships are simply for ‘hanging out and having a laugh’. That may work for a while, but it can put an intolerable strain on your relationship. It’s a romantic myth (and a very unhelpful one) that your partner should be ‘everything you ever need’. No one person can ever be all that another person needs. It’s too much pressure. And what happens if your relationship breaks up?

Embrace the ‘friend zone’

If you’re male, you’ll probably have heard other men complaining ‘Not only did she not want to be my girlfriend, she expected me to be there for her and offer her emotional support!’ Now that seems like an outrageous expectation to some men – because commonly their male friendships don’t include the emotional support element; only their romantic ones. But women’s friendships do. The woman described here is actually treating the man who’s complaining like a real friend – and would probably be up for emotionally supporting him too! A wise man would take advantage of that as part of his overall support system, since his male friends are either unlikely to offer it, or when they do, are unlikely to be as practiced at it. The ‘friend zone’ is no bad thing.

Friendships help you regulate your hours and keep you balanced

Time spent with friends may seem like time wasted – when you could have been working on your career. But your emotional self, which does an awful lot of hard work when you’re an artist, needs time to rest and recuperate. In other words, you can use the time spent with friends to help you regulate your work hours and days – so that you get proper rest at the optimum intervals for producing good work. I know that sounds very ‘cold’ but I want to give you a reason to feel good about putting time for friends and family aside regularly. Even in career terms, it isn’t a waste of time.

How to nurture your friendships alongside your creative career

  • 1.Use your calendar – Your calendar is already your best friend when it comes to planning your working life. But you can also use it to make sure you get enough ‘down’ time. Make a note of every event you hear of that you might like to go to – and issue invitations well in advance. You’ll unconsciously ‘work towards’ that break – and it’ll be a proper mental rest.
  • 2.Encourage last minute invitations – If you find yourself unable to commit because your working life is chaotic, ask your friends to include you in last minute get-togethers. Thank them profusely when they do, especially if you’re not able to attend. It’s a good way to break things up.
  • 3.Set up lunch dates and ‘tea’ dates – It’s good for you to work regular hours in your studio. For a start your brain gets the message that the ideas need to start flowing at 9am (or midday – whenever you start work). Doing this means you’ll also break at a regular hour for lunch or tea/coffee. Which means you can invite friends to join you confident that an hour off in their company won’t impinge on your work.
  • 4.Prioritise important events – Regardless of how important your career is, you don’t want to neglect the important events in your family and friends’ lives. Your elderly grandmother’s 100th birthday, your own wedding anniversary or a friend’s wedding are not events you should try to avoid. Make space for them and be there for the important people in your life. You need their love and support – and it has to be a two-way street. And it’s what they deserve from you too.

If you want to know more about how to get the professional and emotional support you need, you’ll find more information in ‘Organizing for Creative People’.

 


Comments
Profession Consultant commented on 23-Aug-2018 12:35 PM
Wow ! Thats worth a read. Thanks for writing it for us! Much appreciated

Post a Comment




Captcha Image


×

Recent Posts


Tags

artist cleaning cupboard of shame innocence tips for clearing effortlessly tidy hostile clutter morning routines buying hope well organized control home organising home life low maintenance criteria for letting go of stuff great art normality appointments quality tidy desk good friend temperament too busy precious memories display items options creative identity card email sheila chandra coaching to do list theft childhood car procrastination lazy working class artists lifetimes tidier email overload feeling creative feel like creatiing artists bulk buy too many commitments crowdfunding branding introverts time clutter stay on top of email stop cluttering organise emotional support friendships clearing as you go boredom efficient work patterns spree buying youth nurture creativity myth creativity diary inspiration buying wealth good creative habits professional creative career confident in clothes making decisions wind down : clothes successful artist jealousy stardust proposals mess stop hoarding stuff the void cry parent VIPs fall of innocence housework much quicker nurturing creative work how to work efficiently hotel room loss proposal writing elevator pitch double standard getting ready for work social media networking good art work wardrobe clean desk vocation artistry buy fewer clothes pop culture diagnosis absences vulnerability collections brands funding storage compulsion writing funding campaigns creative commissions creative career coaching social media nipping things in the bud email bankruptcy clutter addict artist mentors resentment letting go buying happiness business-speak emotional balance platform cleaning your desk long-term artistic development emotionally secure artist tidiness in living spaces career strategy tidy people productivity ‘creativity’ ‘stories’ about your possessions warm down creative wellbeing work life slim-line wardrobe artistic chaos magic buying stardust concentrated creative time great artists overwork diary clear outs creative career subconscious mind fine art goals partners streamlining routines loving your audience self promotion networking effectively tidy creative organising clear desk friends peacefulness exhaustion critical acclaim motivation clearing in short bursts creative spark work priorities slow and steady pop music home care professional mentors focus staying in control clearing disorganization hoarding clutter artist workspaces how to save time artist materials business-like chaotic domestic life creative person artist goals creative ambitions creative confidence creative culture grief dynamic spaces static spaces smart artists work efficiently saving time anxiety binge nascent artists Sheila Chandra author well curated closet emotional resilience much better friend artistic conviction green room professional encouragement multiple lifetimes hobbies guilty purchases new year being tripped up inconvenience culture creative magic workspaces copyright living clutter free clarity of thought creativity organisation living mess free work/home life balance sacrifice working class culture symptoms of creativity celebrity endorsed products tortoise and hare peer-to-peer networks network stay tidy automatically creative people touring mature artists why organise just in case being organized popular culture 2018 goals organizing for creative people under-confidence commitment visualising missed opportunities minimalists how to be naturally tidy brilliant creator work trips mornings artist mentoring networking arrogance business interface to creative businesses low maintenance strategies tension hijacking creativity clearing clutter business imagination trope

Archive

×