You really deserve that expensive cup of coffee today. Not a java drinker? Then you deserve that chocolate bar, that extra time on Candy Crush, or that free hour streaming the next episode of Supernatural. You deserve something good!
Can constantly telling yourself that you deserve these little rewards–or even much more–boost your creativity? According to a paper from Emily Zitek and Lynne Vincent, feelings of entitlement could increase creativity. Through four studies, individuals were exposed to activities that encouraged entitlement before participating in tests and activities that measured creativity. The results, Zitek and Vincent say, were that the entitled group performed with higher creativity.
Since content writers often work alone and are their own bosses, feelings of entitlement can be hard to create. Start by rewarding yourself for the work you do, and tell yourself that because you finished that 1,000 word article, you really do deserve the reward. Go beyond the short term and physical, though. Work to convince yourself that you’re entitled to a better life or a more stable future. Tell yourself that you’re a great writer, and you deserve great clients and higher paying work.
The Zitek and Vincent study used writing exercises to improve feelings of entitlement. When you sit down for work each day, take a few minutes to plan your goals and write down a short sentence or paragraph about what you deserve during that day.
The Self-Entitled Monster Line
Using positive thoughts and confidence to boost your creative approach seems like a good idea, but if you aren’t careful, you could create a monster. The first sign that you’re crossing the self-entitlement line might be that you’re spending more buying well-deserved Starbucks coffee than your extra creativity is netting you on the freelance front. It’s important to remember that you might deserve something that you can’t afford or shouldn’t have that day for health or other reasons.
Once you’re firmly into self-entitled monster territory, it’s possible to alienate your family, friends, clients, or coworkers. Yes, you deserve better paying work. But when short PDs at $1 a pop are the only thing trending, the full-time writer has to do what he has to do. You know what else you deserve? The ability to pay your bills. Yes, you deserve kindness and love, but so do your family members. Yes, you deserve to be treated with respect, but so do your clients.
Don’t be afraid to boost your creativity, reward yourself, or think positive about yourself and your future. But remember that freelance writers don’t work in a vacuum, no matter how alone you sometimes feel. Don’t let feelings of entitlement turn you into a monster.
Sarah S deserves chocolate for breakfast, a butler to bring her hot tea and sandwiches, and turn-down service on a freshly made bed every evening. Since she’s aware of entitlement-monster dangers, though, she only demands the chocolate for breakfast.