Underselling Yourself As A Creative

How To Stop Underselling Yourself As A Creative.

I’ve talked a little bit out about how I’ve had trouble with this and the more that that I have thought about it, talked to friends and other creatives about it, and done research.. it seems that this is a trend. Creatives are being undervalued in every single workspace which is insane considering society is obsessed with entertainment whether that be music, movies, or books. Writers and artists are behind all of it!


This blog post is not going to be about how men writers make more than women writers, in the film industry, music industry, or book industry… Although, I mean.. that is also a problem. It is going to be about how we personally undervalue ourselves and others who are like us. There is, of course, a lot of self doubt that goes into play and we have talked about how imposter syndrome affects writers and artists alike as well as how that affects our self-esteem and self confidence when writing and sharing but even further than that it has affected what we see as our worth.


When I was setting up an Etsy shop and asked my husband how much I should charge for a personalized poem I almost had a heart attack when he said “$75 USD.” I just looked at him like “what?” and literally asked him “Who would pay that?” He looked at me and said, “I would.” I know that, of course, this is something your husband should say but he also said that I need to remember that I am the one who sets my own value and that if I want to act like an artist who is starving (or doesn’t care about the time and energy that goes into each piece) then people will act like that is who I am, too. “You attract what you put out.” By having this conversation, he helped me make room to change the way that my mind was previously programed. Literally by using my own belief system against me, ha! 


So, I’m going to give a few tips to help you stop undervaluing yourself as a creative.


  • Writing and creating art takes time and your time has value. Remember that time is money. Your time is important and it matters. This is huge. You wouldn’t want to waste anyone else’s time so, don’t waste yours by undervaluing it’s importance.


  • If you were working a normal 9-5 job (or you are) look at the amount of money you are paid per hour…Do you think your art piece that took 2 hours and $30 of materials should at least cover your hourly rate plus those materials? I do! Again, there is value in your specific gifts and talents!


  • Now, go and check out what your favorite writers and artists are selling their work for. Is it similar to what you had intended to sell your things for? Knowing your market is a huge help and it doesn’t mean you should compare your work to theirs, it just gives you a guideline.


  • Stop putting your work down and instead start using mantras and affirmations to help you. Things like “I am a writer and I am good at what I do” or “I am an artist, I deserve to be paid for my work because it’s beautiful.” Both of these are TRUE! The more that you say them, the more you will believe them.


  • Writing is a craft that not everyone has. Same for painting, graphic design, etc! Not everyone can take words and make others feel intense emotions or create a piece of art and make people feel intense emotions. These skills take years of practice, work, time, love, and effort. If that isn’t worth something… I’m not sure what is.


  • Do some inner work to try and figure out why you feel like you’re not good enough to make the money that you may want or deserve. Dig deep and ask yourself, why? Journal through it. If you think you need guidance or help dealing with the emotions, etc, maybe sit down and talk about this with a therapist. Underlying issues caused by trauma or abuse can definitely make things more difficult.


I hope that these things help you, they are helping and have helped me. It can be so difficult to overcome all of the inner-struggles that we all have as creatives (ever heard of the artist’s curse?) but I promise you that we can! We deserve to be able to make money and love our careers! So, if you think that it’s not possible, I’m here to tell you, try harder! What would the world look like without art? Without you? I can’t even imagine it.