A Generation of Freelancers Have Lost Their Hobbies and it’s Leaving Us Burned Out

January 17, 2022

“As a generation we’ve lost the ability to have hobbies. All of our acts of creativity are now seen as something to be monetized.”

I’m paraphrasing the quote above, but if you’re like me, it probably resonates somewhere in the gut area.

In this age of side hustles and economies built on creativity, you can’t go three steps without hearing a message designed to help you earn money from something you enjoy doing.

But the message does far more harm than good

It’s not wrong to want to make a living from an activity you enjoy doing and people are willing to pay you for – but at what point do we draw a line?

At what point are we to say “No, I enjoy doing this because it’s just for me. I don’t want to put pressure on the thing I love.”

I made the mistake of monetizing my hobby

I used to paint in watercolour.

And in 2016, after becoming comfortable with the brush, the paints, and the techniques – I decided I would start selling my art.

I never made a dollar.

Even worse, the activity I used to do each day to relax and enjoy myself, now became another item on my to-do list. And the pressure to create art that would sell led to my burnout.

After just 6 month, I closed up shop and packed away my paints. And every time I look at the supplies it reminds me of the anxiety I felt trying to force my hobby to support me.

Keep at least one hobby for yourself

Now I knit like an 1850’s housewife and have absolutely no plans to ever sell what I create. It’s just for me, an exercise for my creativity so I can show up and be the best version of myself.

This is why I ask each guest on the Well-Paid Creative podcast this question:
Do you have a hobby or activity that’s just for you?

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