Stay Sharp – How to Boost Creativity When Work Subsides
No work in the pipeline? It’s a dreadful scenario that freelancers face from time to time. Contracts aren’t guaranteed. Often, they come in waves. Feast or famine is an apt description, even if it is a bit discouraging.
Still, it’s not as if freelancers are without options. When paying jobs dry up, there’s work to be done. Positivity in the midst of uncertainty is a byproduct of staying active and striving toward goals.
For freelancers struggling to find work, there remain ample opportunities to improve professionally and inspire others.
1. Launch a Passion Project
It’s difficult to design anything from scratch. When it comes to personal design projects, knowing where to start is the hardest part. First, define a purpose and ask questions:
- What’s the ultimate goal of the project? New clients? Creative industry notoriety? Both?
- Where will inspiration come from? Other creatives? Different cultures?
- How can the project be tied to a cause or a community?
- Is the project meant to demonstrate expertise, or is it a chance to explore an unfamiliar design discipline?
- How far can experimentation and self-expression be pushed?
Such questions bring clarity and focus. When projects have a purpose, they have value and are more likely to be finished.
With purpose defined, begin research. Read books. Watch videos. Arrange informal interviews. It’s a personal project, so don’t spend countless hours accumulating information. The point is to glean context and fuel ideas.
It’s also wise to establish a realistic timeframe. Surprising results can be accomplished over the course of a weekend. For longer projects, create milestones, seek out peer accountability, and share progress shots online.