The very word conjures up the idea of something illicit, something exciting. Truth be told, moonlighting is an exciting way of creating something of your own on the sidelines.
From the beginning we knew that we wanted to own the magazine ourselves, not share it with a bank or investors. We felt that if we were to be successful by ourselves then the achievement would feel so much greater.
It also felt like a safe way to minimise risk in an industry where we had previously only played minor roles – if things went wrong then we wouldn’t owe anybody anything. That’s a heartening thought when everyone around you is shouting “Print? Print is dead!”
Moonlighting afforded us the luxury of dipping our toes, rather than diving straight in. It allowed us to build up a working knowledge without the pressure of immediate financial burdens.
For instance, while we were starting Another Escape, Jody worked as both a freelance photographer and intermittent Christmas tree farmer! He was able to pay the bills while also saving up for his share in the magazine’s start-up costs. Moreover, the time spent cutting trees for someone else’s venture left him with an appetite to channel his own creative interests into our very own passion project.
The juggling act of starting your own venture while ensuring you can pay the bills is a difficult one though; there are many compromises and little certainty. Moonlighting is not for the faint-hearted, there’s little time left after all the working hours and this has been one of the major concessions we’ve had to face.
Time and time-management are the biggies. If you are working every hour that God sends then you burn out, fast. Creative juices cease to flow, ideas get hazy with tiredness and organisation falls by the wayside. It can make your business feel like it is failing, even when it isn’t.
If you become overwhelmed with feelings of being burnt out from working all of your waking hours, my advice would be that it is important to remember that you are only human.
We would be lying if we said that we didn’t come close to burning out a number of times; how could you not when spinning so many plates? The trick for us, in these moments of near-despair, was going to events or simply surrounding ourselves with motivating individuals. It gave us fuel to be creative and for us to push harder.
There’s no shame in working another job whilst pursuing your own business venture; it’s common practice and, as far as I can see, pretty necessary unless you’ve money stowed away. Be proud of your hard graft and keep in mind that the time will come when it all pays off.
Another Escape is an independently published magazine that uses the idea of ‘inspiration’ as a jump off to unveil a world of interesteing sub-cultures.
Illustrated by Daisy Hillyard
- One Thing I Know