When full-time work met side project – they never made it past the first date…

Something that’s been on my mind a lot since I started this paper art thing is the fact that I always seem to be insanely time-poor and always feel like I can never do any consistent paper – arting.

I’m not being an ungrateful whinger here, and I know that a lot of this just comes down to time management (ugh!) – but I’m simply pointing out the impracticality of having a full time job AND a side project AND high expectations.

It’s not a great combo.

You see I want the best of both worlds – a good, fulfilling full time job that I enjoy – as well as an awesome side venture that I can work on in the background.

And I USED to think it was impossible to do, but the last couple of months have taught me a thing or two about getting past that hurdle.

So here’s a little of my gained wisdom. (Dare I call it wisdom?)

If you want something badly enough, it’s worth the fight.

The age-old line! And something that pretty much every Hollywood movie uses as a plot line.

But it’s really, seriously true. If you love it and it makes you happy, why wouldn’t you fight for it? I love my art and it’s worth every second of the time I slave away at it.

This notion is something I ALWAYS come back to whenever I doubt myself.

Plans and lists and goals (ugh) really actually help.

A side project doesn’t pop up overnight. You have to chip away at it and nurture it consistently in order to get results.

When I started this project I got crazy overwhelmed & delirious with everything I needed to do, I just had to stop, take a breather, make some tea, and then write a plan.

Fueling all that enthusiasm, I literally sat down one day and wrote an entire business plan in one afternoon. And instantly I felt 100 times more organised – and like I knew precisely what I was going to do next.

Since then I’ve pretty much re-written that plan – it changes so much – but it’s the necessary framework you need to give your project momentum.

Stagger your progress

The ONLY method that prevents me from going completely crazy with anxiety – is to do a little bit of work – every – single – day.

Even if it’s 10 minutes of research – it’s progress.

There are days I get home from work and launch lunatically into 3 solid hours of crafting. And then there are days where my mind is absolute mush and the only thing I can manage is to think up a title to my next blog. Literally.

But even the smallest amount of progress is still getting you further than you were before. And why should you beat yourself up over that? Are you some kind of superhuman? No! Be kind to yourself! (Man – if we didn’t have off-days the entire human race would just be bouncing around like those horrible-chirpy-morning people that you so badly want to slap)

The idea is that consistent progress over a long period of time will get you where you want to be. And so far it’s worked for me. When I think back to where I was a year and a half ago when I started planning this venture for real – to where I am now – they are worlds apart.

I have managed to come so far simply from consistent progress.

Take the crappy with the awesome

It sucks and it’s hard to accept, but failing is part of the process.

While I’ve never been able to properly accept my failures (why thank you high standards) – whenever something doesn’t go according to plan, I always remind myself of why I’m doing what I’m doing, what I’ve achieved so far, and my overarching end goal.

The only thing left to do is put it aside – walk away – and go and watch a Jake Gyllenhaal movie. He’s like a doe-eyed magic remedy man.

Anyhow, that’s about the limit of my philosophical musings.

Until next time…:)

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