Think Big: Clarifying Vision
There are times in our professional lives as artists, when we have to take creative leaps. These leaps have been well documented in discussions of creative flow, and similar themes. But what I want to make note of today are those leaps we have to take that are financial. I’ve often expressed that one of my goals with The Writing Life Blog is to document the highs and lows of the life of a working writer, even if that means sharing professionally vulnerable experiences. I’m motivated to do this, in large part, because when I searched for examples of creative thirty-somethings that were taking book tour and travel leaps like me, I didn’t find very many resources that shared the hard facts.
To that end, I consciously blogged about my book tour, including an exposing interview sharing the financial realities of my experience. I also blogged about reframing failure.
Now, it’s time to talk about what to do when you’re confronted with one of the best problems in the world: a successful business model that has reached its flex-capacity. Writer@Large private students reading this, never fear—my work with you is always at the forefront of my efforts. Those waiting for new enrollment in May, or future full manuscript critiques and consults—likewise rest assured; I have room for your writing and am still actively seeking more students. Please do stay in touch and/or reach out to learn about my services.
But as I navigate my roles as CEO, Board Chair, Founder, Executive Director, Administrative Assistant, Blogger, Arts Writer, Platform Designer, Educator, Public Speaker, and Author for my own business, it’s become increasingly clear that in order to have the flexibility my business needs to grow (rather than simply maintain), I’ve got to hire help. In private conversation with a handful of creative women entrepreneurs, I’ve found that I’m not alone. We all care deeply for what we do, and we likewise believe in asking to be paid what we deserve, while also silently running our own ships behind the scenes of our public creative profiles.
Time to put a name to what I’ve known for a while: “Just because I can do it, doesn’t mean I have to be the one who does.” I learned that lesson when I was a full time Montessori middle school teacher and now I’m learning it again. I’m proud to say it didn’t take reaching the same level of mental and physical fatigue this go-round before I committed to the leap.
I’ve looked long and hard at what brings me the most joy, what brings financial rewards I feel good about, what costs me emotionally, and what costs me creatively. The decision is clear; there are many skilled professionals who understand how to clarify a brand, how to elegantly upgrade a website, and—this is what’s most important—how to refine an artist’s offerings by distilling them down to manageable, tangible, go-get-‘em resources that a) fulfill the private students, b) fulfill the artist, c) pay for the bills and the retirement, d) contribute to a meaningful “bigger” conversation and, c) embody innovation and originality.
What I do now—and have been working toward since 2009 when I founded Writer@Large—hints at all of this already, but it could benefit from an easily articulated, concise vision. In this New Year, I raise my glass toward that vision. With high hopes, with gratitude (for you, readers!), and with an eye toward a continually creative future: Cheers!
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