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.

Stay Sharp – How to Boost Creativity When Work Subsides

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.

How to boost creativity

Freelancers must balance seasons of plenty with periods when jobs are few. (Rebecca Lee & Parsing Eye)

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.

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