It is easy for me to give myself reasons why not to work… I have always been this way and I have a feeling I will always be this way. I celebrated my birthday, it was nothing special. I mostly just gave myself a few days off work. Now… this isn’t such a big deal if you go back to work full force after your time off.. But, I am not wired that way! Once I take a break it’s really difficult to get back on the horse and get everything on my list accomplished in a timely manner. Over the years I have developed, through trial and error, a system that works well for me to get back on track!
This list of 5 things is customized for me and my workflow. Hope it helps when you’re feeling like putting things off.
1. Force myself to create. It’s that simple- I force myself to edit a photo that has been in my trash bin for a while, or I write a short story/poem, or even take a self portrait that will never be seen my any other eyes than my own. This helps me to get back in the mindset of creating. It’s easy for me to put myself in a slump. When I don’t feel like my work is good enough or I don’t have any original creative ideas. This helps me remember not to be so serious all the time!
2. I always allow myself to take frequent breaks! I know from experience that I can not force myself to create. If I am allowed to take short breaks while conceptualizing, editing, writing, etc. I know that I can come back to my work with fresh eyes and keep myself from dragging through the long process.
3. I personally get most of my inspiration from music and lyrics. So for me, I can stay on track even when I am taking some time off or taking a short break by listening to music. This is also the same as watching movies, reading random lyrics, stories, and poems. I keep a small notebook with me so if I do get inspired I can write it down really fast then move on.
4. One thing that I am always reminding myself is that what I am working on may not work out as I expected. But I will always learn from every shoot that I go on! I never look at a photo as a failure, only a learning experience that didn’t turn into a portfolio piece. And if I do post it online to one of my social media sites, if it doesn’t get a great amount of hits, it doesn’t mean it is terrible! I create for me and in hopes that others like it as much as I do. But it ultimately comes down to how satisfied I am with the work that I have produced.
5. It is important to me to allow myself to “fail”. While I don’t ever look at a photo or a shoot as a failure, I do allow myself to not post them… I never want to post a photo just to post a photo. I want to share my best work, and nothing less, with the world. By allowing myself to fail it relieves some of the pressure that can build up to create work that is better than all of my other work!
There are so many others that help me stay focused on being my own boss- but these are, in my opinion, the more important ones.
Being a creative person is hard! It’s really an emotional roller coaster and it’s important to be aware of your moods because they will show up in your work!
If you have any tips that you have found work well in keeping you focused, leave them in the comments below!