Ever since I was a kid, my parents have told me how creative I am. I was very lucky to have that support. To this day, my parents still tell the story of the Thanksgiving I made myself a turkey costume out of paper as if it were my greatest achievement. They’ve always told me how impressed they were by the things I made. Most people don’t have that kind of creative support, but I did.
This post has been a long time coming as I’ve been trying to find exactly what to say, but I think it’s time to share. I come from a family of creative people. My mom and sister can make just about anything, and each have their own style and their own specific talents. For my mom, that is sewing and cake pops. For my sister, that is cake decorating among many other talents. My dad is a talented woodworker. Creativity was always important to me, and it still is. The problem with creativity is that we generally grow up being told that being an “artist” is not a “real job.” I thought of my creative side as a hobby, not something I could do forever, because I always learned that being creative wasn’t a job.
I was wrong.
I grew up knowing that I wanted to go to college and be successful. To me, success meant getting my degree and becoming a businesswoman in a big office building. I changed my mind about what I wanted to be for years. First, I wanted to be a vet, then a teacher, then a movie director, a journalist and eventually I landed on public relations and marketing, hoping that it was versatile and would combine all of my interests. Ultimately, I just wanted to be successful in the only way I knew how. I jumped in and I’ve learned so much on the job that I never learned in school, and the experience of working in marketing for an IT company over the past almost-two years has taught me a lot about marketing my own blog and even marketing myself.
Now I’m 24 years old and working in marketing like I wanted, but I’ve realized that I wanted more.
Bloggers and businesswomen like Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess, Kelly of Studio DIY, Ashley of Sugar & Cloth and Sam of Aww Sam have taught me that you don’t have to work in a big cubicle-lined office building to be a successful businesswoman. Over the past two years of running this blog, I’ve realized how much my dreams have changed. Watching the women behind such successful blogs play the roles of creative blogger and businesswoman have taught me that it is possible to make a living as an artist and be truly successful as a creator. These bloggers showed me the new age of businesswomen and are the reason I’ve treated Revamperate like my real job. Dress for the job you want, right?
I feel like pursuing creativity is a constant struggle because the little voice in me wants to play it safe and the rest of me wants to do what I love and throw myself into it, but I’m too logical to make a snap decision like that. For as long as I can remember, I’ve played life safe. I save instead of spend and I make decisions based on what I think I “should do.” It’s worked for me so far. I’m very lucky that at my age I have a degree, a full time job and a cushy savings account, and it’s not easy to stray from my safe way of living.
I originally started Revamperate as a school project, and I kept with it because I thought it would be fun. I didn’t set out to create a business or anything. Over time, I realized that I was making stuff anyway, so why not publish it online and share it with others? As I began to post more and more often, I decided to do more research on blogging and make mine look more professional. Over time, Revamperate became so much more than a hobby for me – it became my passion and my side job. Well, it’s the side job I don’t get paid for, except for the rare occasions a great opportunity comes along.
I titled this post “The Struggle to Pursue Creativity” because I spend a lot of time thinking about the blog and dreaming about what to do next instead of actually pursuing anything. What I really want is to be my own boss and start a real business sharing my ideas with anyone who will listen, and one day I want to be an author and a blogger and a business owner and make cupcakes all day, but it’s not easy to take that leap. Right now, I feel sort of stuck and it’s hard to move past it.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s that nothing happens overnight. I think my dad’s favorite lesson is “practice, practice, practice.” I know he’s right, but man, it sucks. It takes a long time to get anywhere when you’re taking baby steps.
What do you think? What are your goals? Do you ever have the same struggle to pursue creativity?