The other day, someone asked me what the minimum criteria is for working with me as a coach. While I focus on supporting creative folx, my main criteria is that you’re willing to do the work of shifting your relationship to money. I appreciate this question because it reminded me of how many creatives are unsure if they are “enough” of a writer or artist to seek support with their creative practice.
The night before that conversation, I attended a monthly member’s meeting at Room Project. We talked about surviving winter and our hopes and plans for spring and summer. At numerous points in the evening, I was struck by how much the space allows its members to take their work more seriously. From writers who have clear goals about getting their work published to folx who are simply longing to reconnect to their creative voice.
Whatever your goals, it matters that you give your creative practice the attention and support it needs to thrive. Even if all it does is feed your soul. Even if you never intend to make money off it or share your work publicly. The minimum criteria for calling yourself a creative is that you’re doing creative work. That’s enough to take it seriously; that’s enough to carve out time in your schedule and money in your budget to practice your art.
Capitalism and the patriarchy feed the narrative that creative work is only valuable if it doesn’t challenge the status quo and is profitable. What’s more, systemic oppression further limits who gets to make art. And being the resilient and sensitive humans that we are, shutting down our creative desires can feel like a necessary response to the financial, political, economic, racial, and/or physical challenges that we face.
In many of the conversations I have with the creative folx in my online and local communities, I hear an underlying belief that there’s a limit to which we can take our creative work seriously. There are bills to pay and “making it” as an artist or writer feels next to impossible. Or feels like something that happens to other people. The thing is, the only way to know the full scope and impact that your work is able to have is to give it a chance to thrive.
One of my goals as a coach who helps creatives access financial wellbeing is to support my clients in rewriting their money story so they have the option of exploring their creative practice more. Regardless of what they decide to do with that freedom, it is important to me that they have the choice. Of course, my hope is that my clients go on to nurture their art and share it with the people whom it will touch, wake up, validate, humanize, and transform.
So it matters that you give your creative work the support it needs to become the thing that it has the potential to be. Whatever that support needs to look like. And you can start small and start now. Begin with the minimum you and your creative work needs to be sustainable. That’s enough. It’s enough that you start where you are with what you have. It’s enough that you want to make your creative work a priority.
What is the minimum support your creative work needs?