4 Ways To Stay Inspired As a Freelancer In A Creative Field
Working for yourself is satisfying, but it can become extremely overwhelming very quickly. If you don’t have a solid plan in place from the start, it is easy to run out of steam for projects that demand a high amount of creative energy. For me, the trickiest part about working in a creative field is being able to produce high-quality work on a very punctual schedule. This is not because I’m lazy, but because it is difficult for me to control when I am struck with inspiration.
Let’s admit it, everyone has days where they feel a little distant or unfocused. On these days, I find that I am still able to complete left-brain tasks such as coding, but doing something that evolves a lot of creativity is nearly impossible. This becomes a huge problem when you have deadlines around the corner. Often, I will have to re-think a design 2 or 3 times before I get close to something I am happy with. Here are some tips I have been practicing regularly to help boost my inspiration when I really need it most.
Change Your Environment
One of the first things I do when I am feeling unproductive is change up my environment. There are many things about your environment that can influence your work ethic that you may not be conscious of. Different qualities such as background noise, lighting, comfort, and even smell can all have subtle affects on you. If you’re working from your home office, try going to a coffee shop or cafe. Preferably somewhere quiet where other people are working too.
I find it easier to focus when I am around other people that are working hard. A good change of scenery is a great way to stimulate your mind and positively influence your creative output. Just be sure to find a place where you won’t get distracted too easily.
Connect With Interesting People
Find a way to connect with new people that are creating innovative and inspiring work in your field. Talking with passionate people can help bring new perspectives to your craft that you may have not considered before.
You may try going to meet-ups or conferences. Lanyrd.com is a great site for finding conferences and other events to attend. MeetUp is useful for finding local groups with similar interests. Or it could be as easy as reaching out on social networks. Follow new people on twitter that are posting content related to your interest. Find a way to get involved and learn something new. Not only will this help re-kindle your inspiration, it could also help you find new people to work with.
Experiment With Different Techniques & Processes
Don’t get me wrong, routine and structure is efficient, but doing things the same way day in and day out can drain you of your inspiration pretty easily. It is easy to get trapped in repetitive thinking and processes for carrying out tasks because it is familiar and the risk level is very low.
Trying new methods may bring new risks, but it can also help re-kindle excitement and passion for your craft. For instance, every couple months I like to introduce a new web technology to help me accomplish my latest website. You may have to devote a little extra time to learning a new technique, but if you are truly passionate about what you do, this should be exciting.
Work On A Personal Project
With the constant pressure to impress clients and meet their requirements, it is a refreshing change of pace to work on a personal project. Out of all the advice I have given in this article, this one is the most rewarding.
Take a break from client projects, and spend some time creating something that you truly want to do. Think back to when you weren’t getting paid to do what you do, when you were just learning your craft and having fun. With complete creative freedom, you may be surprised at what you create. It may even be worthy of showing off to potential clients to help sell your creative talent.
Of course there many other ways to stay inspired as a creative freelancer, but these techniques have provided me with the best results so far. Working for yourself requires extra discipline in order to consistently deliver quality work. You have no boss, no upper-management, or anyone to make you do it. It is up to you to find the best strategy or you will quickly fade into background and lose opportunities.
The most important thing is to stay passionate about your craft and always keep learning. If you follow this rule, inspiration should stay close behind.
If you have any tips of your own for staying inspired, I highly encourage you to post them below for everyone’s benefit.