This blog has mostly been about the indie publishing thing going on and my own writing. I also think a lot about just how different the 21st century is, and why it is a good thing. And for creatives the 21st century is awesome. As I’ve written about before the gatekeepers are quickly dying. In the 21st century you need to choose yourself, and stop waiting for other people to choose you.
I photographed a wedding this weekend. I’ve had a freelance video and photography side business now for ten years. I’ve never been able to replace the need for “day” job with the revenue from my work, but that is okay. It’s difficult to pay for all that you need with a side job. Some bloggers at this point would criticize me, some how not quitting a day job showed some weakness. I call baloney. (That’s how I call it. This is a kid friendly site folks.) Having an additional revenue stream takes the bumps and bruises out of a day job. Ever not gotten a raise or promotion at your day job? Of course we all have. Especially in the past several years. Having additional revenue outside can make those moments go from terrifying to just annoying. But the 21st century allows for these additional revenue streams to be easier to create and have. Speaking of working on the side verses quitting your job, Ramit Sethi recently posted about when to make the jump from freelance to full-time work. There is a time and place for it.
My clients from this weekend found my website and contacted me to be their photographer. 20 years ago I would have needed to place an in the phone book (remember those?) And hope the clients would have called to me. Now in the 21st century before my clients even contacted me already saw my portfolio and client reviews. I didn’t even need to bring photographs to meet them. They had pretty already decided to hire me before we even met. That’s great, less work for me.
Creative people from photographers, videographers, filmmakers, writers, and others now have the ability to reach a large audience and get paid for their work without having to go through a gatekeeper. Painters no longer need to go through gallery showings, just sign-up at Esty; photographers no longer need to hope for a plum assignment from National Geographic, travel and a Smugmug website will do the same thing; Movie makers no longer need Hollywood when you have Youtube; Musicians no longer need LA when you have iTunes; Writers no longer need the big 6 when you have Amazon and others. All of these things can be done first as a side gig or hobby that could turn into something more. What a great time to be a creative person.