As soon as I publish this post I'm going to walk away from my computer for an hour minimum. I really shouldn't right now. My business is still young, and I still need to hustle. Currently I'm juggling four client projects with only one of them being a not-so-dreamy type. The rest simply have very close deadlines because it's wedding season. I can't complain. Each bride is unique and an equally exciting project.
But back to that not so dreamy client.
It's wearing me down. Before it came up I'd planned to spend my two full days off diving into those other projects and getting some major progress done on them. Now those days are almost gone and I'm left with a tightness in my shoulders and chest that makes me realize I haven't been taking full deep breaths most of the day.
I'm not telling you this to complain. I'm sharing this to be transparent about life as a freelance designer. I'm writing it down to remind myself (and you!) why we're working so hard on our little businesses.
We did it to give ourselves the freedom to be creative.
I have a few potted plants on my porch that are very low maintenance. And I mean I put them in dirt and just need to remember to give them a good solid soak every couple weeks. And yet a couple are drooping because I kept saying "Oh I need to water them" and *surprise* it's now a month later. I know all they need is a bit of water. 10 minutes of love. That's all. And yet, it's still not done.
Creativity is the same way.
We have to make time to strengthen our creativity.
I used to allow myself to take an open ended amount of time to sit and craft in college. I hadn't really taken any arts classes and everything I knew was simply from logic reasoning and research on basic supplies from blogs. I quite literally would just DIY everything.
Since then the tides have turned. Being creative has become my job. I've got time limits to make sure I'm staying on track with a client project and very specific requirements to follow. And that's not a bad thing.
But the creative spirit that put a sparkle in my eye and ran wild with the wind is dormant. Much like building up physical strength it takes putting on your shoes and going to the gym to get those muscles going. And at least for me, my best workout days have been when I gave it my all without any limits. Specifically time limits.
So back to those four clients and to do list. It's in my best interest and their's too that I make time to flex my creative muscles just for fun for a bit.
I'm making the time to nurture my creativity with a break from the screen and the deadlines. I might not be as into DIY everything but I can definitely get down with some watercolor and some dirt under my nails and some time outside. And you should too.