Hitting a creative block is one of the most dreaded fears of freelancers. Whether you are a designer or a blogger or any other freelancing professional, you don’t want to go through this depressing period because it is very difficult to handle the phase. Every freelancer should know how to stay creative through tough times because freelance world never stays same. Well, it is tough to accept the harsh realities of life but one has to learn to deal with them because it makes you resilient and strong. Creativity is something that is imperative in the freelancing world. It is the thing that drives your business but in tough times it tends to take a backseat. Therefore, you must know how to stay creative through tough times. A freelancer faces tough times when:
Recession Comes Into the Scene and Work Dries Up
The downtime can test you a lot and take a toll on your creativity. During this time, the freelancer is anxious and worries a lot about work which saps his productive energy and creativity.
One is Overloaded With Work
Excess of everything is bad; you must have heard this proverb. Freelancers live by this proverb because it is common for them to go through the highs and lows in terms of projects and assignments. The highs too can take a negative turn. When one’s hands are full and one has to devote attention and energy to multiple topics, creativity does dry up.
One is Facing a Personal Crisis Such as Breakup etc
Personal crises are known to affect the mood of all people and if you are creative by nature, the blues beat you down more severely.
One Is Facing Financial Hardship
The job nature of freelancers is such that money doesn’t flow on a regular basis. Therefore, when one is already facing a financial crunch it becomes difficult to devote complete attention to work and thus, creativity suffers.
One is Dealing With a Nagging Client
Client management is the key to survival in the freelancing world. You will have to work with all kinds of clients and there are times when one lands up with a client who keeps interfering in your work. It is really difficult to handle such a client. In such situations, creativity is affected to a great extent.
Whatever the reason for the tough times you are facing, you have to bounce back and get back to your erstwhile creative self. It might take time but with efforts you can achieve the creative ‘you’. So, what are those efforts that you need to take to resolve these crises? Here are some of the clues:
Change Your Work Setting
As a freelancer, most of the time, you are working from home which means that you are restricted to a single place. Now, when you are experiencing tough times, it is important to divert your attention to different things. If you don’t do this, you will not be able to come out of your depressing mindset. Therefore, go out and take some fresh air. If it is possible, work from a coffee shop or some such place that is pleasant to the eyes and mind. You can also shift the place of your work and create a new corner in your home itself. Sprucing up the same place with a new look is also an idea that can work wonders to enliven your creativity.
This might sound surprising but at times, taking a break from work is important to think creatively. In cases, where an overdose of work or a personal crisis is the reason for your creative death, this is the best advice. Take out time for yourself and do everything that you want to except working. It works if you allow your mind to log off from work issues for a while.
Start a Side/Personal Project
Many a time, working under the terms and conditions of others too affects your creativity and in such situations, it would do you good to start a personal project or take up such a side project that brings out your creativity.
Read and Write
For a freelancer, this is the best remedy to overcome a creative block. Reading feeds your brain with new ideas and inspirations. So, read as much as you can. Select such books that hold your interest. If you are a writer, it is best to rant out your feelings on a notebook. It is one of the most effective tools to vent out frustration. Creative blocks, in most cases, are the result of pent-up emotions and when they find a release, you feel light and unburdened.
Try Innovative Ways of Doing Things
Creativity is all about imagination, expression and originality. These three are invariably hampered when you fall into a routine and begin to lead a monotonous life. To counter this, you must try out new methods of doing things. Think out-of-the-box and allow yourself to do things that do not confirm to your tried and tested track. You will surely find your lost creativity.
Network With Fellow Professionals and Friends
The tough times become easy when you meet people from your field. Since all have been in this situation at some point or the other, they can empathize with you and also motivate you. Meeting friends is also a fabulous idea to beat the creative blues because when you are with them, you can relive the happy old memories. You are also feel free to vent out your woes. This works like magic and you are bound to feel better.
Find Time for Your hobbies and Exercise
Indulging in one’s hobbies is the best antidote to running out of ideas and staying creative. It rejuvenates you like nothing and provides ample fuel to keep your creative fire alive and burning. The benefits of exercise have been praised by all and one when it comes to inspiration and motivation. Since creativity thrives on these two elements; you must definitely take out time for exercise.
Utilize the Power of Fear
This may not work in many situations but it is quite effective when the creative block is the result of a mood swing or something that you cannot figure out despite your best efforts. Fear of failure is known to induce people into action and therefore, you can also try out this option.
Steve Jobs, the great innovator, had this to say about creativity: “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” As a freelancer, you must keep this quote in mind and never feel low when you find yourself at a loss to explain your thinking and mental condition. Just get in contact with the tips prescribed above and everything will fall in place. Creativity is bound to shine bright and the lull will surely pass away