Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Day Job To Become A Full-Time Creator

Ev Chapman
January 11, 2022

Here’s an Unpopular Opinion For You: Having a day job and being a creator are not mutually exclusive.

You can do both well & enjoy them. I do.

Most people assume I’m a full-time creator. But nothing could be further from the truth. I work full time as a marketer coaching health & fitness professionals how to grow their business through marketing.

My days are filled with coaching calls, marketing campaigns & lots of zoom meetings! But somehow I’ve managed to eke out a great lifestyle as a part-time creator as well.

And I think more people could benefit from this kind of thinking, rather than the more traditional “I want to quit my job and become a full-time creator.’

But being a professional part-time creator and holding down a day job will take a little planning & creativity. So here's a peek into how I structure my days to leverage both.

I'll preface this by saying I have no kids & no commute time, so I might have a little more time on my hands than the average person. But who really has more time right? We all have 24 hours each day.

A Typical Day In The Life Of A Part-Time Creator

5am-6am. Wake Up. Coffee. Write

My brain is ON as soon as I wake up. So I jump straight into my writing inbox, choose a note & start writing. This warms my brain up & has become a keystone habit for the rest of my creator life during the day.

You can read more about how I use my writing inbox here

Once I'm switched on I'll choose an essay idea that I’m going to write about that day and brain dump some ideas.

6am-7am. Lace-Up & Walk.

Walking is a superpower for any creator. It does something magical for your brain and makes your ideas come alive.

I love walking directly after writing because it helps to solidify ideas. Although it’s more of a walk. stop. walk. stop experience because I’m busy capturing so many thoughts.

Plus it's always a bonus to see the sunrise 🔆 each morning.

7am-8am. Coffee Chats.

If you’ve even jumped on a zoom call with me and you’re from the US it’s probably right around 7am Sydney time. That’s the bonus on living on the other side of the planet. I get to have breakfast calls with everyone (but sorry for the bed hair haha).

If I’m not zooming, I’ll dive into Twitter and do my first engagement round of the day.

8am-10am. Deep Work.

This is when I start my day job. The rest of my crew don't come online till 10am so I spend the first two hours head down getting things done.

Here’s the secret though. I choose what I’m going to work on and have everything ready to go the afternoon before. This is the only way I can leverage this time wisely. If I need to work on some copy or a marketing campaign, I’ll have the doc open and ready to go.

And I never check Slack or email during these hours either, otherwise, I get derailed very quickly.

10am-4pm. More Work.

The rest of my day revolves around my team, group zooms with clients, and lunches on my balcony in the sun.

As I mentioned before I wrap up I decide on what I want to get done in my deep work time the next day and organise everything I need for it.

4pm-5pm. Nap Time 💤

Around about 4pm I'll either take a nap or meditate.

I find this is a perfect way for me to transition from ‘day job’ back to ‘part-time creator’ especially because I work from home.

I encourage anyone who is working from home to have some kind of transition. Naps work well for me because if I don’t take one I won’t survive past 6pm. Meditation has the exact same effect and I find I use both interchangeably.

5pm-6pm. The Joan Didion Hour.

In the Netflix Documentary on Joan Didion, The Centre Will Not Hold, she describes that at the end of the day she’ll take her work from the day and edit with a glass of wine. And if it’s good enough for Joan, it’s good enough for me.

Around about 5pm I grab a glass of wine, pull up my essay idea and the brain dumps from the morning and punch out my daily essay.

Just like Joan, I find the wine loosens me up a bit and I’m sure I write better because of it 🤣

6pm-7pm. Dinner, Walk & Talk.

After publishing, I head out for another walk or hit the gym depending on the day. I’ll grab some dinner and possibly chat to my husband for a while, he always appreciates that.

7pm - 8pm. Twitter Happy Hour

After dinner, I sit back down and do one more session of engagement on Twitter. I'll clear my mentions inbox, interact with my lists, answer DM’s & scroll through the craziness of the feed for a while.

Twitter can get overwhelming especially when you start to write & engage daily. So I try really hard to stick to my cut off time, knowing that there will always be an endless feed waiting for me tomorrow.

I might also jump on zoom calls with my European friends in this hour.

8pm-10pm. Ev Time.

I indulge in reading books, listening to podcasts or audiobooks and the more than an occasional episode of real housewives (I’m not sorry to admit this).

I try to stay off any continuous scrolling or addictive screens (although I’m not always successful).

I'm pretty rubbish after 8pm so I wind down quickly 😆

By 10pm I'm in bed & ready to go again tomorrow.

About Weekends

A quick note about weekends. My weekdays move fast and if I don’t prep I’m a total mess, so I use the weekends to do a lot of prep work so my weekdays are smooth & easy.

On the weekends I:

👉 Choose ideas to work on the following week.

👉 Tidy up my ideas, put things into neat piles in my system and do other general maintenance.

👉 Schedule tweets for the week

👉 Work on products & launches

👉 Possibly write some longer work or dive deep into my endless pile of books.

All up I spend roughly 16% of my day doing part-time creator work which is about 4 hours & exactly half of the time I spend on my day job.

But exactly half my day is just life 😄

Of course, not every day goes as planned. I’m human not a robot. So I try to go with the flow and be flexible with myself. I also try to anticipate as much as I can if something big is coming up so I can plan for it. For instance, if I have a big event at work, I know I’m going to have to spend less time on Twitter, or I have to schedule a few more tweets ahead of time.

I don’t expect your day will look the same as mine. I think part of the reason it has worked so well for me is that it evolved over time. If you’re just starting out as a part-time creator start with choosing your ‘sacred hour’ and hour where you will write and hopefully publish something. Then grow your time from there.

In short, having a day job and being a creator are not mutually exclusive. You can do both with a little creativity & some planning:

👉 Utilise weekends for prepping👉 Find your sacred hours to write👉 Be intentional about engaging with your audience👉 Be kind to yourself. Not every day will go as planned, so ride the wave.

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