Take Yunis, who lucked into a bit of time between day jobs almost a decade ago: "When I was unemployed, there was a lot of dead space in that time. I think my energy level actually went down when I wasn't working," she said. In fact, Yunis added, it wasn't until she started writing from 6 to 8 a.m. every weekday before work several years ago that she "started writing seriously."
As Pierre points out, aspiring artists often make the mistake of thinking they need to win the lottery or move to Paris or take a year off in order to create.
"A lot of people get caught up in this idea of what being an artist or a writer is, when it's so mundane," Pierre explained. "Like everything else, it's work."
Rather than wait for that mythical financial windfall, start pursuing your craft now in small, bite-sized chunks. As Pierre notes in her book, 15 minutes a day of creative time before or after work (or during your lunch hour) can be incredibly habit forming. That way, if the free-time fairy does happen to leave 12 unfettered months under your pillow, you'll know exactly how to avoid squandering them.
Author Joshua Ferris wrote his award-winning novel "Then We Came to the End," a send-up of office life at a Chicago ad agency, after doing time at -- surprise! -- a Chicago ad agency.
I'm sure you see where this is going. Whether you're a filmmaker, photographer or folk artist, the best ideas and inspiration are often found outside your studio or home, sometimes even within the confines of your day job. Yet another reason to incorporate scheduled human contact into your workweek.
5. Instant Patrons
Finding the time to make art is only half the battle, of course. Getting people to read, view, hear, buy or otherwise support it is another job altogether.
For those whose workplace is supportive of moonlighters, having a built-in audience or customer base for your creative work is yet another day job perk.
"I love the support that I've received from my colleagues," said Layla Colegrove, a Woodinville, Wash., IT professional who spends her evenings and weekends running Flowering Tree Botanicals, an Etsy shop that sells nearly 900 bath products, all hand-crafted by Colegrove and her mom.
"Many of them are some of my best customers and have given me lots of great ideas for new products. I can't tell you the number of times that co-workers will introduce me to a new person and share that I have a 900-product Etsy shop."
6. The Artist's Way
Even when the economy isn't in the toilet -- and patronage of the arts isn't down -- it's the rare author, filmmaker, musician, illustrator, photographer or craftster who can afford to forego a day job.
"I've met really famous writers -- writers who've been on Oprah -- who can't afford to not work," Yunis said. "The amount of writers who can make a full-time living at writing is small."
The same can be said for artists of every other medium.
"That's the thing that is this giant myth," Pierre said. "I've talked to belly dancers who work in libraries. I've talked to construction workers who are musicians. Almost every artist lives this way -- even quote-unquote successful artists."
This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
Michelle Goodman is a freelance writer and former cubicle dweller. Her books include "My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube." Follow her at @anti9to5guide.