DiscoverFun Work: The Nitty-Gritty of Creativity
Fun Work: The Nitty-Gritty of Creativity
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Fun Work: The Nitty-Gritty of Creativity

Author: Tiffany Verbeck

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If you want to find work that fills your soul, this podcast is for you. The host is a creative writer/freelancer who quit her full-time job to pursue writing — and she'll share how she still struggles. We'll also cover how to get paid for your fun work (if you want to).
17 Episodes
No matter what the Internet tells you, the holidays are not a time for productivity. They're for relaxing, chilling out, and eating too many sweets. But what about all of us stuck in our homes and not traveling because of the pandemic? If you find yourself scared of losing your mind because your household has even more free time than it already had these last nine months, you're not alone.Listen to this episode, folks. I give you my top 10 ideas for fun — but highly unproductive — activities you can do as a family or by yourself during the upcoming pandemic holiday season. Even if you just need an excuse to go to a room by yourself for an hour, I have plenty of ideas for you.
Today I talk about running what sounds like a very creative company — a freelance writing business. However, it soon became very uncreative and unfulfilling, which surprised the heck out of me. It turns out you can get stuck in a rut, whether you're pursuing your dream or way on the outside of going after those goals. Listen in as I talk about what I did to combat it, and ultimately overcome being stuck in a creative rut.Links:Freelance writing course I took: Instagram: @tiffanyjverbeckMy Twitter: @tiffanyverbeck
In this episode, we'll talk about why we changed directions a bit with this podcast and are now calling it Fun Work! For one, I got pregnant and had a lot of couch time to think about what I really care about. Turns out it's helping you find work (whether on the side or full-time) that fills up your soul. Everyone deserves some fun work in their life. Join me to figure out how to get it.
We are obsessed with productivity — to a fault. I'm currently in a less-productive time of my life and I feel guilty not producing tons of output. My morning routine? Far from optimized. But that should be OK.We aren't robots.In this episode, I talk about the idea of toxic productivity and how we need to cool our jets on needing to always be busy. Especially during a pandemic.P.S. It's the 10th episode!!Here's the Wired article I talked about:
Imposter syndrome is a bitch. It leaves you feeling like you have nothing to add to the world and like your dreams aren't worth pursuing. But we can beat it together.I talk about my struggles with feeling like a fraud in many of my jobs. And a lot of it comes from perfectionism, which makes this last-minute and barely edited episode right for this conversation. There's a lot going on in my life at the moment, so here I am experimenting with overcoming imposter syndrome in real-time.
Let's talk about side hustles. I chat with my friend, Anisha Mehta, the founder of Bollyblooms, about how she makes about $500 extra a month by working only a few hours. If you're thinking of turning your passion into a lucrative gig, you'll want to hear her advice. Check out Anisha's Bollywood dance website here (and hire her for your next virtual event): help with your financial feelings? Contact me for a free session.Email: tiffanyjverbeck@gmail.comInstagram: @tiffanyjverbeckTwitter: @tiffanyverbeck
A few years ago, I was part of a Diversity Task Force that came up with ideas to increase diversity in the organization I worked for. The members of the task force did our part (mostly). But it went nowhere.In this episode, I talk about why the initiative failed miserably to create more diversity in the workplace. And why no attempt to broaden diversity will work until we stop seeing it as a handout. You're not doing a favor for the other person — but you are for yourself.PLUS a new segment called Financial Confessions Corner. I admit to some embarrassing truths about my finances, and then come up with a spontaneous solution on the spot. You aren't alone, young grasshopper.LinksRobin DiAngelo's quote:
When you fantasize about quitting your day job to go after your dream, you want to know three things:What is my dream?How can I make money doing what I love?Where do I start?In this episode, I take you through my journey where I quit my day job to start writing. And I answer these questions along the way. I'll give you practical advice you can take forward — no matter what you're working toward. Pursuing your dream ain't easy, but it's worth it. And totally, completely possible. Here's the link to Elna Cain's online writing course I took that held my hand through the process. I wouldn't have been able to do this without it:
No music. Just me. I get a little emotional on this one responding to the violence against the protesters this week.
In this episode, we follow 15-year-old me back to my first — and worst — job cleaning filthy bathrooms and dirty sheets when I worked as a housekeeper. Crazy times ensued: Think throwing the covers back on a sleeping woman and calling the cops because you thought a man had died because he was passed-out drunk and had sprayed fake blood everywhere... that type of nuts.But, boy oh boy, did it teach me some things. Listen in on how I learned humility and how to find moments of enjoyment even in the worst employment situation. What was your first, or worst, job? Try to out-do me at or on one of my social media handles:Twitter: @tiffanyverbeckInstagram: @tiffanyjverbeck
There seems to be an onslaught of pandemic optimism. It doesn't leave much room for the rest of the human emotions — like sadness or anger. Right now, essential workers (and workers in general) have every right to be pissed. I share two stories from essential workers to highlight what they're going through and talk about how it's OK for all of us to feel angry right now.Also, I offer a quick money lesson answering the question: What is credit, really? Credit seems like this nebulous idea that lives in the clouds. I bring it back to earth using the Gnaw Bone Store and a grocer named Billy. Up next week: I talk about my first (and worst) job ever as a hotel housekeeper. There are some crazy stories in this one. Shownotes"In a City Defined By Power, a Virus Has Seized Control," The Washington Post, April 2, 2020,"Calling Me a Hero Only Makes You Feel Better," The Atlantic, April 18, 2020,
Money is emotional. Especially these days, in the middle of a flippin' pandemic. I believe it's possible, and necessary, to face your emotions around money. If you avoid your feelings, you're probably avoiding your finances. In this episode, I introduce:Why I started this podcastWhat our journey will look like togetherHow the podcast can help youAnd it's not scary. If I can do it, you most definitely can. I'll share some funny or bizarre money-related stories that will remind you that you aren't alone, as well as one tip each episode that will help you gain a little more control over your income today.
I lost my biggest creative client, one that had given me a substantial portion of my monthly income for the last 8 or so months. Gone. Poof.I'm also about to go on maternity leave as a freelancer, and I had been planning to return to working for them. Now I'll have to start from scratch.This is disappointing, but it also might be a blessing in disguise. Listen in for tips on finding the silver lining in the problems with living a creative life that seem too huge to tackle — but really aren't.Up in two weeks: How I failed to track my business finances for an entire year, and what I learned. Stay tuned. It's a wild one.
To bootstrap your freelancing business, you probably don't need much. Here's what I spent in the first 4 months of freelance writing:- $165 for online writing course- $106 for 3-year web hosting with BlueHost- $14 for a domain name (normally comes with BlueHost but I messed it up)*- $101 for office supplies- $58 for business cards*- $84 for Grammarly subscription- $50 for Medium membership*- $13 for a book on marketing*Total: ~$525*Not necessaryYou can make money doing a ton of jobs if you have:a stable WiFi connectioncomputer accessa bare-bones portfolio (which can be a PDF in the beginning!)Listen in for more on how I bootstrapped my business and how you can, too. PLUS in First Steps Corner, I talk about how my husband started an exciting new passion project: repairing motorcycles.LinksWriting Course:
In this episode, I speak to you from Procrastinationville, where I have settled in for the past several months. Procrastination is cozy, and it's hard to leave. But I have jumped aboard the slow train out of town, and think I can help you recover from any procrastination streak you might have going right now.I cover some advice that has helped me:Start small: It's cliche but true. Think of the most infinitesimal step you could take and try it. Be patient: Instead of looking for a life hack, understand that it will likely take time to change your habits. That's OK. Open up to friends: Even friends doing something completely different than you can bring a fresh perspective and give you great ideas.Forgive yourself: Beating yourself up about "wasting" time will only make it worse. And that time probably wasn't wasted.Also, I introduce a new segment — First Steps Corner. I talk about the Cheesecake Ninja, a non-baker who started a cheesecake business after seeing a cheesecake that looked tasty on Facebook and giving it a shot. Here's the Don't Keep Your Dayjob interview with The Cheesecake Ninja:
I chat with Ken Rusk, author and owner of Rusk Industries (as well as self-proclaimed ditch digger), about blue-collar work. He believes you don't need a college degree to be successful — and I believe him, even though I have a master's degree. We touch on ideas of hard work, meritocracy, race, and what the heck a blue-collar job even is.Pick up a copy of his recent book, Blue Collar Cash: follow Ken on Twitter:
What does the call to "defund the police" mean? I didn't know, so I did some research. Turns out it isn't what it sounds like (for the most part). It's easy to look at the term and think people want to abolish police across the country, followed up by a knee-jerk reaction to the idea. But hear them out — there are some fantastic innovations in their call to action.In the end, decreasing the role of police in society could benefit black communities and the cops themselves. Listen for more.Resources:"‘Defund the police’ gains traction as cities seek to respond to demands for a major law enforcement shift," The Washington Post, June 2020: Broken Windows Theory: "How A Theory Of Crime And Policing Was Born, And Went Terribly Wrong," NPR, November 2017:"How Much Do We Need The Police?" NPR's Code Switch, June 2020:
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