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Bukowski, You, and the Big Dream

We're going to stop you right here. This is an article that talks about letting go of the traditional career path and becoming a full-time creative. If you're curious about the message that inspired this post, you might want to take a listen to this. Go ahead, it’s only about four minutes long, and it might make all the difference. We'll be here waiting when you’re done.


We promise.




Hey! You’re back. We'd bet there’s a good chance you’re reading this because you’ve considered the dream of being a full-time creative, whether it be a writer, a painter, a musician, or any number of passion-driven lives. We'd even venture to guess something else - that you’ve stopped short of that dream because of several things, with the most predominant being The Fear.


But, we won’t talk about The Fear just yet. Let’s ease into The Fear and first talk about some of the basics in ditching our 9 to 5 jobs and seeking our full-time artist's dream, also known as the Big Dream. Achieving the Big Dream takes a lot of planning, striving, and sweat equity. Here are a few concepts to consider.


We need to finish what we start.

Creative brains tend to be idea mills, and our fuel is the muse that pumps these beautiful wisps into our heads. But, if we don’t see a final project to fruition and beyond, all we’re left with is a series of unfinished binders, files, or canvas piles. Half-Dreams don’t become Big Dreams. Big Dreams are built on tangibles, which is great, however...


We need to creatively multitask.

It is all about balance. Once Idea A is done, Idea B needs to be rolling. While we’re finishing one creative project, we need to be in progress with the second idea. This is different than having a series of unfinished ideas; this is organized multitasking, this is staged projects (development, in-process, production, etc.), and this is follow-through. Poet Charles Bukowski said it like this: “the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be.” Thank goodness, because...


We need to think outside the outside the box.

Thinking outside of the box is hard, but we need to take things a step further. What makes our products unique? What can we offer that our creative consumers didn't even know they needed in their lives until it's in their hands, brains, and hearts? It's not enough to only create anymore. To become a Big Dream achiever means creating a product that needs an audience. Take a look at the current market. What's missing? Is it you? If it is, you might need to get moving, which means...


We need to have our butts in the chairs AND out on the streets.

In the Big Dream, it’s a two-butt hustle. There’s not a lot of room for things like writer’s block or artist’s block. If you can’t find what to write about that day, go to item number two on your to-do list and keep moving forward. Productivity and movement means output. We all have the same number of hours in the day as Naval Ravikant. Who?...


We need to make wise time investments.

Trust us. And if you don't, trust Naval. We all have the same number of hours in a day, whether we’re making pizzas or running billion-dollar empires. What are you doing with your hours? Are you making them count to the fullest extent or do you cringe when your phone unexpectedly shows you that not-so-helpful screen time report? Second, at what point does it become cost-effective to pay out for a service? Consider this: if you can supplement your income with a part-time gig while paying someone to do your book marketing, for example, you might find yourself far greater ahead in a much shorter time on the path to the Big Dream.


We can only get to the Big Dream if we Dream Big.

Little dreams are important, but they don’t always get us to where we hope to be. Sometimes, bigger chances result in bigger payoffs. This is where you have to stop, consider your resources, the risk level you’ll allow yourself, and figure if you can or should take the next step.


“the gods will offer you chances. know them. take them.” - Charles Bukowski, the laughing heart

Writing, art, music, and creativity are careers of passion, which means that if you find yourself in one of these output categories, you likely have the most important inherent skill: The Drive. But, what’s stopping us from ditching the 9 to 5? Maybe it’s a lack of knowledge, a lack of support, or a lack of funds. Knowledge can be gained, networks can be built, and money can be earned. We'd guess it's one overwhelming thing, and it looks like a lack of courage, or specifically, a lack of security. We call it The Fear.


It’s interesting that we worry about not succeeding in an artist’s life, yet, consider a day in which you haven’t read words, haven’t looked at something someone drew or painted, or haven’t heard music. Those days rarely exist, if they do at all. Did Bukowski become a career writer because he kept his job at the post office? No. Does anyone become anyone because they stay put waiting for an opportunity to be handed to them? No, they acknowledge The Fear, and then do the work. They make the plans. They brace for contingencies. They recognize chances from the gods. And, they go all in.


“if you’re going to try, go all the way. there is no other feeling like that.” - Charles Bukowski, roll the dice

Disclaimer: the authors of this article are not responsible for things like health insurance, retirement accounts, or general financial well-being. Please consult a responsible life planner, your spouse, or geez, at least ask your dog, before embarking on the Big Dream.