Is Creativity Work Or Play? // A Guest Post by Abbiee

7:00 AM

YOU GUYS. Today you're going to hear from one of my most favorite blogger people, Abbiee! She's a fellow creative person who's full of hilarity and a love of waffles, which is 100% something I can get behind, and her thoughts are so lovely that I just had to get her to write something up. I'm thrilled with this post, which means that you will be too, because you've all got good taste, yeah? So shower her with love in the comments and make her feel welcome...and let's get to it.

My name is Abbiee and I’m a busy human bean.* My usual day is packed with a full to-do list, leaving no room to breathe or Pinterest. (The latter is the worst travesty of all.) I can’t remember the last time I spoke the phrase, “I’m bored.” I AM NEVER BORED. I have lots of things to do: help out in my family’s business, write books, compose music, practice singing, do household chores, edit manuscripts, and of course blog. Most of that sounds like fun, right? (Minus the editing of manuscripts. That is universally known to be NOT fun.) I completely agree – I am blessed to have time for my art. But when my friends ask me about life and I say that I am Busy™, I sometimes feel like a liar. These friends go to college and have Real Jobs™ and they are probably much busier (in the normal sense) than I am. But does “busy” mean “doing lots of things I don’t like to do” or does it simply mean “doing lots of things?”
*Otherwise known as The Person Who Is Bad At Replying To Emails™

The peer pressure of Work™ (or the lack thereof.)

Sometimes I call my art “work.” Especially if my friends ask me, “What is this elusive thing you call work?” It’s true – I have no paying job and I am not attending school. My day belongs to me and my family. I can spend my time however I wish to. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have deadlines and obligations. ON THE CONTRARY I HAVE A LOT OF THOSE. For instance, right now I am writing this guest post for Aimee’s blog. I also have to write a post for my own blog tomorrow and schedule it to post on Saturday morning. I’m going to the recording studio on Monday. I have several projects I am working on for my family’s business and I promised to have them finished before the week is out. Not to mention how I am steadily suffering through NaNoWriMo. (SOMEONE BRING ME WAFFLES.)

These are all entertaining things! In fact, as I sit here and write them down, I think about the fun elements of each task. But the truth is this: I have to put a lot of creative effort into every one of these things. I have to use my artful brain to create something.

Creativity isn’t a game – it’s a way of life. I strengthen my imagination every time I use it and at the end of the day my mind is tired and I sleep like a rock.* If I’ve been writing all day, I don’t probably even know how to words or grammar. If I’ve been practicing vocals all day, I probably won’t speak to you because my voice is tired of being a voice.

I have a full supply of creativity when I wake up in the morning. But as the day goes on, my supply slowly drains. I feel like I have worked all day. I AM TIRED.** How is this not considered Work™? I might not be getting paid (yet – remember I’m trying to build a future career, bro) but I pour boss-grade effort into everything I do.

Should I feel like I’m lying when I tell my friends that I’m “working?” PROBABLY NOT. Do I still
feel the peer pressure anyway? PROBABLY YES.

*Of course I’m still bombarded with thoughts of existential crisis, but I eventually go to sleep. Usually. 

**I know, you’re like “tbh we understand you’re tired Abbiee” but not on this level because my allergy medicine makes all the difference.

Welcome to my life of relaxed slave labor.
Ask any member of my family and they will tell you that I’m a workaholic. The pack mule and I are distant cousins. STRESS MAKES ME HAPPY FOR SOME REASON. I love a challenge – and I love it even more if I can beat my personal best. For me, creativity is an immensely fun job I never punch out of. This can either be a) very freeing, or b) very stressful. In my experience, it’s both.

Creativity can feel like work and feel like play at the same time.

(i interrupt this post to give you abbiee's face. because i can.)
The best of both worlds.
So which one is it, Abbiee?? HI THERE. I can hear you through the screen, waiting for the point. Let me put you out of your misery and tell you that I HAVE NO ANSWER. Creativity is neither work nor play.* It is life. And life is full of to-do lists and busy schedules. It can be stressful, but it can also be great fun.

When you use your creative mind, you are working and playing. You are taking part in the most fulfilling job you will ever do. Whether you’re a musician, a writer, a sculptor, a poet, a tattoo artist, or a dishwasher,** you can bring your own creative energy into the thing you do. Never let society’s boundaries make you doubt your awesomeness. AIN’T NOBODY MAKE YOUR ART LIKE YOU MAKE IT.

Explore. Have fun. Stress out a little, it’s totally okay. Eat some waffles. Create the next thing. Love it. Live it. Don’t believe anyone who says you don’t have a Real Job™. Take pride in your life adventure.
*Kind of like how Narnia is in the wardrobe but it’s NOT ACTUALLY?? Idk that was a bad analogy. Blame it on the allergy medicine. 
**I’m talking about an actual human bean who washes dishes. ALTHOUGH MACHINES HAVE RIGHTS, TOO. I’m sure it takes some major creativity to swish soap and water around in a small metal box.

Shout-out to the fabulous Aimee for having me guest post on her blog today! She is one of the most creative and talented bloggers I know. I’m just SO HONORED to be taking over her blog today! *flails loudly* If you aren’t asleep by now, please hop over to my blog and say hello! Or stalk me on Instagram and Twitter. Whatever you feel like, bro. 

Do you feel like you’re working or playing when you use your creative mind? Do you have a Real Job™ or do you prefer relaxed slave labor? Do you ever feel the peer pressure and doubt yourself? (Please tell me I’m not alone.)


  1. Ooh, I got to read TWO new Abbie posts today! :D

    I think that I'm working AND playing when I use my creative mind - it depends on what mood I'm in xD. If I need to write extra words to hit a word count while I'm dead tired, then being creative is the LAST thing I will want to be doing. But if I'm geared up and ready to go, then I don't think using my creative-ness is work. IT HONESTLY DEPENDS :D.

    ~ Savannah

    1. EEEEP SAVANNAH YOU ARE SO KIND. :'''') Thank you. I totally agree! Every day is different and changeable when you're using your creative mind. (Sometimes that can be good or bad lol) THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING! *waffles for you*

    2. *nodnod* Abbiee has the wise words here, but I definitely agree that it depends on the day and the mood. Sometimes it's trudging through mud. Sometimes it's flying. WHO EVEN KNOWS.

  2. I RELATE TO THIS POST IN SUCH A DEEP WAY!!! I was literally just nodding along while reading thinking, "Me too. Me too! ME TOOO!"

    I feel like I always have SO much going on, and yet I don't go to school, I live at home, I only have a tiny part-time job I go to one to two times a week. It SOUNDS like I have nothing going on in my life, and yet I'm so busy! Becoming an author is absolutely what I want to do with my life, and, man, that takes work. Between blogging and building a platform and keeping up with all my writing friends and, ya know, WRITING. It takes up tiiime. And yet I feel like I have no right to say "I'm busy" when one of my friends is studying for exams and my other is taking care of her three children. Am I really busy when I'm sitting in my pajamas in front of my laptop all day? Like you said, it feels like I'm lying.

    But I like to remind myself I'm basically colleging myself. I'm working toward my career, it just happens to be one where I spend a lot of time in front of a computer at home instead of a classroom. I need to just embrace it and enjoy it and not be ashamed.

    But I'm babbling. I just loved this post! It's so crazy how you said you're never bored because I think about that all. the. time. Just yesterday evening I was thinking to myself how sometimes I miss the days when I was bored. XD But I also love this time in life, I never want it to end, and hopefully it won't.

    You are DEFINITELY not alone in this. Seriously, I feel like you put all my feelings into words. Thank you for sharing and being open and honest with us. It's so great finding others with similar lives and pursuits. We crazy writers gotta stick together!

    1. YAY CHRISTINE I'M SO HAPPY YOU COULD RELATE TO THIS POST! :D WOW WAHT ASDFGHJ WE ARE BASICALLY THE SAME PERSON. I feel that so hard. It really does feel like I'm not "working" but it IS SO MUCH WORK IT'S CRAZY. "But I like to remind myself I'm basically colleging myself." <<< WHOA YES THANK YOU FOR THAT. You are right on. and I needed to hear that. *i am basically nodding this whole time too* EEEEEP I'M SMILING SO HARD RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THIS COMMENT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME. :''') I'm so happy rn thank you for reading Christine! AND YES WE CRAZY WRITERS GOTTA STICK TOGETHER. xD

    2. You've got some great perspectives here! It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the stuff you have to do, but the way you look at it is SO positive and we need that. YAY CHALLENGES.

  3. This was an awesome post. :D You really caught my attention when you said that you compose music and sing. That. Is. So. Cool!!!!!! My life is music* and I have always wanted to compose music. What's it like???

    *But lately my life has also become a lot about writing....I literally spent almost all day yesterday at the computer and I think I'll do the same today. Just because I can!

    1. Thank you so much!! aw, that means so much to me girl. :') EEEP YOU LOVE MUSIC TOO?? *high fives* OH MAN I REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW I WOULD DESCRIBE IT?? But it's very fun. And interesting. And exciting. And I may or may not be doing a small series on my blog about it soon! And omg I feel. I've been writing like crazy this month (NaNo eeep) and I've had almost no time for music IT'S TERRIBLE BUT AH WELL. :') Thank you so much for reading!!

    2. *high fives you back* Yup, I do and my blog is (supposed to be) about music and all that good stuff. :)

  4. great post! creativity is definitely both for me, as it should be! if your creative pursuits don't challenge you and feel like work sometimes, they probably aren't very fulfilling. I really enjoy the concept of "flow" - flow is when you are "in the zone" you are maximizing both your knowledge about something and also your enjoyment. This article about it is great

    1. I completely agree, Katie! Very well said. *nod nod* Ooh that article sounds interesting! I'll definitely check it out. Thank you so much for reading!! <3

    2. Oooh I like this article! I feel like this whole thing is about figuring out what gets you into the flow, y'know? Where's the balance between work and play when it comes to creativity? It looks different for everyone, and it's fun to play around with it.

  5. Amazing post! You seem super cool; I'll have to check out your blog later, Abbie. I don't really do creative stuff as a career, and I'm not sure if I plan to, either. That doesn't change the fact that it isn't all play. I still have projects to do for people, goals to meet, and things to practice. That's how life is, right? Anyway, neat post! Good luck with all your stuff!

    1. EEP THANK YOU SO MUCH ERIKA. <3 That means a lot to me. :') Yes so true! I'm glad you enjoyed the post and thank you so much for reading!




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