But while these are all genuine, real-world issues, they shouldn’t be the death knell for your creative ambitions. Here, we’ll walk you through some of the most common challenges in pursuing your dreams, suggest ways to overcome them, and hear from creatives who’ve done just that.
Challenge 01: Finding the time
Let’s deal with the most common issue first: finding the time. Whenever you want to achieve something outside your main working hours, the clock always seems to be against you. Between the office, your commute and daily household life, there never seems to be a spare minute.
Are things that bad, though? Shane Mielke, creative director and author of Launch It – a book of career advice for creatives – suggests your time might not be as limited as you think.
“Take an honest look at your day,” he advises. “Find things you might be wasting time on that are less important than your goal, or that you could be doing more efficiently. Things like social media, video games, commuting and inefficient work habits can all suck bits of time from our lives. If you can free up 30 minutes every day, that adds up to 180 plus hours in a year. Excuses are just excuses.”
Gavin Strange, who works at Aardman in Bristol by day and pursues multiple fascinating side projects by night, offers an example of how that might look in practice. “For me, I find a routine that I try and stick to during the weekdays,” he explains.
“I finish work at 6pm and then come home, eat dinner with my wife, watch a 30-minute TV episode – anything longer eats into the night too much – and then get cracking on ‘round two’, as I call it. Sometimes, when things get really busy, I get up an hour early before work to squeeze in extra passion projects, or get cracking on my lunch hour.”
That might sound like a tough regime, But Strange – whose self-published book Do Fly serves as a motivational tract for creatives – sees it more as a matter of creating good habits. “It’s about finding the right pattern for you, or adapting how you already work,” he explains. “There’s no right or wrong way to do it. The hardest part is starting, but once you’ve got a tiny bit of momentum, it gets better and better.”