• Advice

How freelancers can stay creative and inspired

In many ways, freelancing is the perfect career. You have autonomy. Flexibility. Choice. You, not your manager or employer, are the captain of your professional ship. But the same perks that make freelancing so ideal can also, over time, turn into a burden if you don’t take care.

Freelancing requires an enormous amount of self-motivation. And once the initial glamour wears off and the grind kicks in, it can be hard to stay creative and inspired. But there are some simple things you can do to stay jazzed and keep your juices flowing.

Focus on Balance

When you’re freelancing, you may feel a lot of pressure to always be on, to always be hustling. This can be especially true during the holidays, when busy schedules coincide with lots of added expenses.

You might feel a lot of pressure to take that extra project or that unexpected gig just to ensure your financial house is in order through the holidays. But if you’re not careful, you’re setting yourself up for burnout. So, to keep your mojo all through the season, it’s important to be realistic about what you can or should be expected to accomplish in a day, a week, or even an hour.

There are only so many hours in a day and only so much energy to expend. If you’re trying to blaze through the holidays with all pistons firing full blast, sooner or later, you’re going to run out of steam. Remember that a slow burn is the better and more sustainable option if you want to stay creative and inspired.

This means taking time each day to relax and recharge, to do something entirely unrelated to work. This also means setting aside at least one or two days per week that are just for you, your dear ones, and the things you love.

Best of all, you’re going to find that your downtime actually turns into the source of your inspiration during your working hours. As you use your days off to savor your passions and explore your curiosity, you’ll find those interests galvanizing your projects, helping you turn to each new gig with fresh eyes and an enthusiastic spirit.

Feed Your Body/Feed Your Mind

Keeping creative and inspired isn’t just about finding that ideal work/life balance. It’s also about cultivating your physical health. In fact, if you want to feel more motivated and productive, one of the best ways to do that is to give your body the fuel it needs.

A healthy diet can help give you the energy, focus, and clarity you need to thrive in your creative work. And when your body is energized and your mind is sharp, you’re going to feel more creative and inspired, no matter how many hours you might have put into your gigs that week.

Shake Things Up

If you’ve tried everything and you still can’t seem to break out of your creative slump, then it might just be time for bold action. For instance, you might decide to take the leap and relocate. After all, as a freelancer you have the luxury of a job that travels!

Even the mere process of preparing for a move can be inspiring. When you’re planning to relocate, you go through a process of separating from your old routine to embracing your new life. Packing your belongings can be a first great step because it allows you to weed through and get rid of the things in your life, both physical and emotional, that could be holding you back, even as you are reminded of those things that truly matter most in your life.

Finding and settling into your new neighborhood is also a perfect opportunity to meet new people, see new sights, and embrace new experiences. And this will help to spark your creativity and fire your inspiration for your work.

The Takeaway

Freelancing is a great career, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Holding on to the spark of creativity and inspiration you need to stay motivated and productive can be tough. However, with a bit of strategy and a good measure of self-care, you can keep those fires of inspiration burning for years to come!

Noah Rue Noah Rue is a journalist and a digital nomad fascinated with the intersection between global health and modern technology.