Sometimes when you’re freelancing your own ideas can fall to the wayside. And this is ultimately a bad thing. Often these ideas are the same ones which drove you to be a creative in the first place. Pursuing your own ideas stops you becoming disillusioned and keeps those all important creative juices flowing. But how can you fit your own projects into a busy freelancing or collaborative schedule?
1. Write it down
Think long-term and dream big. What are the things you absolutely want to achieve in your life-time? Painting an awesome street mural? Headlining a festival? Making an enormous origami dragon? Inventing a brand new genre of music? Whatever your ambitions might be, write them down. Treat your dreams as another essential part of your to-do list, like any other project or commission.
2. Set time aside to achieve it
Set aside at least an afternoon each week which you devote entirely to your own creative pursuits. It’s true that right now that goal might feel totally unachievable. But something will never get finished if you don’t start it. As the old Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” Plant the seed of your dream and watch it blossom.
What’s impossible for one person might not be for two or more. Find people who share your ambitions or complement your skills. Perhaps you’re a musician but you need a filmmaker to make that dream music video a reality. Collaboration halves the workload but doubles the motivation – a win-win situation! Twine’s a great way to meet like-minded creatives all over the world from the comfort of your desk.
Make your own projects as much a part of your creative identity as anything else. Tweet/post/blog about what you’re doing and you’ve got an invested audience who are looking forward to your next Instagram post about your big idea. When the motivation starts to fizzle, the watchful eyes of your followers might just give it that boost. What’s more, these guys have made a career out of ticking stuff off their bucket list by sharing what they’re doing.
Whether it’s a short story or a 2000 page novel, the only way you can make something possible is by starting. Creating for yourself is essential to personal happiness and creative growth and the projects you complete for others will be all the better for it. And ultimately, when you look back, you’ll remember the afternoons spent on that origami dragon more fondly than those spent on the projects of others.
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