EP 347: Carving Out Space For Creative Work With The Autonomous Creative Founder Jessica Abel

Jul 20, 2021 | Creativity, Podcast, Productivity

Tara McMullin is a writer, podcaster, and producer who explores what it takes to navigate the 21st-century economy with your humanity intact. Click here to support this work.

In This Episode:

  • Why Jessica Abel believes carving out space to work on experimental and creative projects is key
  • The strategy she recommends for buying the time you need to do creative work
  • How she measures creative projects in “developmental markers” and “success markers”
  • And why she’s committed to building a team that helps her make room for big picture thinking and creative projects

It’s one thing to get your business to a point that’s stable and sustainable.

It’s another to make room for big projects like writing a book or building a new offer.

And it’s yet another thing to carve out the space to work on a creative project that may or may not ever bring financial benefits.

It’s those big projects—the business-related and the not-so-business-related—that so many business owners dream of being able to spend time on.

Sometimes, we put them on our calendar—block out a week or even a long weekend—but then life happens.

Some quote-unquote emergency bleeds into the time we’ve set aside.

Other times, we dwell in the daydreaming. Pinterest boards are curated. Research is done. Ideas are floated past significant others or mastermind groups.

But nothing material ever comes of it.

While Tara will gladly tell you that I’m a huge fan of daydreaming, I also want to make at least some of those dreams real.

Last week, when I talked with Jacquette Timmons about finding the perfect blend of your work days and weeks, I mentioned that one of the things in my particular blend is working on art throughout the days.

I love that I’ve developed a working life that allows me to simultaneously kick butt & take names producing podcasts at the same time I’m exploring my passion for visual art.

It’s taken commitment, experimentation, and a lot of work on business systems—not to mention some serious mindset work!—to get to that place.

And that’s exactly what I wanted to talk with today’s guest about.

What does it take to be able to carve out the time and energy to pursue big creative projects?

Jessica Abel is the founder of The Autonomous Creative and the creator of The Creative Focus Workshop. She’s also a cartoonist, author, and educator. She helps all kinds of creative people juggle the work that pays with the work they dream about.

Our conversation isn’t so much about taking a break from work entirely. It’s about taking a break from one kind of work to focus on the projects we so rarely make time for.

Jessica and I talk about how her work has evolved over the years and how she’s able to juggle so many projects herself, as well as the patterns she’s noticed among creatives, the routines that can help us make sense of our time, and how she paces herself.

Now, let’s find out what works for Jessica Abel!

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