This pandemic has exasperated this sense of loneliness in a new way. For myself, I’m a government worker. Due to the pandemic, I worked fewer hours, but my salary pay provided me with a consistent paycheck with great benefits shielding me from financial hazards. This allowed me to deep-dive into my pursuits of passions and various side hustles that I normally wouldn’t be able to. Generally, I specialize in online writing and blogging, but the new free time has allowed me to venture into other projects such as YouTube video editing and editing for other writers.
It’s also brutally lonely.
However, along the way, it’s hard to ignore the creative burnout. Not because of Gary-Vee Style Hustle Culture overwork, but because it’s so damn lonely. Side hustles are not a job, but labors of passion. This means the potential rewards are exponential, but so is the required output to get there. It means frequently isolating myself so I can create my best work.
Unfortunately, that also requires less social interaction. Less hanging out with the friends, more personal investment, more personal accountability to stay on top of everything, and maintain momentum.
Takeaway: Entrepreneurship is not an easy way of life nor is it meant to be. From the start, your journey is o the road less traveled to achieve a potentially higher reward. It often leads to unorthodox lifestyles that are difficult to convey to the majority of people.
Other People Can’t See Your Vision
One of the most brutal truisms of this lifestyle is that you can rarely talk to other people about it — at least, at first. When you tell people…
- You want to be a writer, a YouTuber, a business owner, an investor, someone that is financially independent and doesn’t work a usual 9–5 job.
You’re often met with pushback and outright confusion. On one hand, you have those that immediately doubt your ability to achieve any of these things. Lofty ambitions are not meant for everyone and it can be scary to dream that big. To go against the accepted way of living, it takes an incredible amount of bravery, and occasional madness, to achieve.
On the other hand, there are simply people that may not even want you to achieve personal success. Instead of allowing others to define success for you, you make the incredible decision to define it yourself. You wrest back control of your life and choose to live your life on terms. Believe it or not, it’s astounding to see how pissed off people can be when you choose what defines you.
It’s hard to explain the end result when you’re the only that can see it. Your parents will not understand despite your best efforts (unless they’re entrepreneurs too). Your boss at work, your supervisors, and various coworkers will envy and put you down. Or in extreme cases, make it their personal mission to make sure you fail. The list goes on and on….
Takeaway: Trying to convey your vision is challenging. When it comes down to it, you’re the only person that can make it happen. Sometimes it’s best to say nothing at all, but that only increases the personal loneliness.
The Pandemic and Too Much WFH
With the rise of Work-From-Home culture, it’s more difficult than ever to find like-minded people. With everyone stuck indoors out of fear for their health, lockdowns reducing social life to nothingness, and everyone working out of their living room, it’s insanely hard to find people you genuinely like talking to. Especially in the world of bloggers, where many of us are introverts including myself, it’s like you’re constantly living on an island.
Except instead of an island, it’s an apartment, a laptop, and just you. With a constant overbearing silence in the background, it can feel like the entire world has stopped.
Usually, you could just take a break and schedule time with your friends later on. If content creation became exhausting, you could always organize a visit to the local bar, watch the latest big movie, or simply find another form of entertainment. However, with many avenues of social entertainment shut down or scaled back, it’s hard to muster the same excitement for going out. Combined with the overall burnout of just dealing with this shit, it can feel like we’re stuck in purgatory sometimes.
Takeaway: Isolation and loneliness go hand-in-hand. One way or another, you have to break from work and give yourself time to recharge. Creativity needs life experiences to give it fuel. Without it, everything suffers.
As entrepreneurs and creators, we live a lifestyle that few can understand. Artistry is rarely about the money, but the art. When you’re creating and trying to bring your vision to life, it takes time away from social interaction. As rewarding as the final product can be, it can make the experience feel hollow if you’re constantly doing it by yourself.
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Dayon Cotton is Active Duty US Navy and Freelance Writer. I write dope articles about social issues, life lessons, and advice on how to live a better life. Stay safe out there!