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Takeaway: The Creativity Of Living A Good Life Is The “Real
Job”
A capricious economy has clearly had an impact on the storyline for many of these
participants but it is clearly a more subverted micro narrative when you consider the
dominant macro narrative of a successful career working on nationally recognized projects
over a period ranging from 10 30 years. This glimpse is merely a snapshot of these folks
interviewed during a time when the economy was in turmoil. Although there is adversity, it
has not curtailed their success and they continue to remain inventive.
What keeps them going? They possess a sense of knowing that they’ve been through this
before as Bill says, “. My instinct said the same thing that happened in the 80s is
happening again . . .The over-the-horizon radar thing is part of the instinctual mechanism
that a freelancer must have.”
All the freelancers involved with this project approach adversity with courage and continue
to produce impressive projects and entrepreneurial ventures. They have the track record
and experience to know they’ll land safely or adapt to the circumstances; and that may
mean starting a new business, project, retraining or taking some time out to entertain other
life narratives. Peggy Holman writes about being receptive to the unknown in Engaging
Emergence: Turning Upheaval Into Opportunity.
What does it take to be receptive to the unknown? Perhaps knowing that turmoil
is a gateway to creativity and innovation provides a reason to be open to the
unfamiliar. Just as seeds root in rich dark soil, so does emergent change require
the darkness of the unknown. After all, if we know the outcome and how to create
it, then by definition nothing unexpected can emerge. Even knowing its value,
embracing mystery, being receptive to not knowing, takes courage. (Holman, 2010
pp. 58-59)
The new narrative emerging from these migrant creative participants is the realization that
the “high risk, high reward” paydays that buoyed the optimism of creative workers
throughout the 1990s twenty years later is now replaced with a scenario that is more
sobering and modest. All these project participants ventured into freelance because it is
where they found the creative work and this gives them a sense of purpose. As Steven
Tatar observes:
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