Autonomous Creative

creative flow vs burnout: may the right one win

Published 7 months ago • 1 min read

I went through most of my career feeling like success was just…one…step…away, around a blind corner, and that all I needed to do to get there was…


More work, more marketing, more income streams, more…everything.

At some point—or really, over and over again—I did so much more I almost broke.

I know I'm not alone. I constantly see other creatives trapped in the same cycle, which I’ve dubbedCyclical Burnout.

The truth is, most of what we’re taught about having a creative career (when we're taught about it at all) is completely backwards, and leads to a state of near-constant burnout.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are different, better paths.

On this episode of the Autonomous Creative, we explore what a sustainable creative career could actually look like, and what it would take to get there.

This episode is a bit unusual in that, for once, I'm the one being interviewed. My friend Gabriela Pereira, the founder of DIY MFA, interviewed me for a project she was developing, but when she decided not to publish it, I thought this conversation was just too valuable to keep locked away.

If you're struggling with scarcity and burnout, it's going to be eye-opening for you. Gabriela and I do a major deep dive into what causes creative burnout, and how to break the cycle by designing a creative career that meets your needs.

We also discuss creative flow and how knowing that your basic needs are met—your bills are paid, you have healthcare, childcare, etc.—can make sliding into a creative flow state that much easier. Finally, I share my strategies for reducing decision fatigue and eliminating all the unnecessary friction that makes sitting down to do the work painful.

Ready to hear more?

Listen to the full episode, and check out the transcript here.​

Autonomous Creative

With Jessica Abel

For creative iconoclasts who want to pay their bills AND do the work they love, get insights, ideas, and next steps from a graphic novelist, author, & business coach. Find out how to build a balanced and productive creative life, and to thrive financially with simple, sustainable business foundations—without creative compromise.

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