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Entries in Not going crazy as a freelancer (1)

Monday
Oct032011

How To: Not Go Stir Crazy When You're A Freelancer

For the past two months I have rarely left the house.  Between the writing for the tarot, the tarot class that's about to be launched, the Beneath the Half Moon blog, and the painting I have to do for an upcoming show, I have confined myself to art slavery.  Here's how I have managed to not drive myself crazy. 

Photo by Veronika von Volkova

1. Structure your day:  Mine goes a little like this: Get up, make breakfast, go for a walk, check email, make list of "to do's" etc... As freelancers we often will work 15-20 hour days, oh trust me I've done it.  With a schedule and some break time you will feel a whole hell of a lot better.

2. Get a sketchbook: Start painting and drawing whatever your heart desires.  Don't worry if it's a good or not.  This book is for you to play around with while you're taking a break.  I sketched up this palmistry hand today while the photographer photographed my apartment.  I finished this sketch while the photographer was shooting my home for an upcoming article.

3. Get out of the house:  You need fresh air.  Take a walk, go to the park, get thee to a cafe or bakery.  You need a change of scenery.  You really do.  It may seem like you should stay in and work but in order to recharge and stay focussed you must step away from the work for a while.

 Every morning I walk to Astoria Park and the nearby Ralph Demarco Park and sit by the water.  I take my journal and write at least one to two pages to clear my mind before heading back tot he house and starting my day.  I've also taken care of part of my exercize for the day.

Sometimes I like to switch up the morning walk and head over to Roosevelt Island.  It's important to switch up your routine so you don't get bored or lose interest in getting some fresh air.

4. Make your living space or working space comfortable:  If you're going to be spending some serious time within your house or studio, you might as well make it yours.  There's nothing worse than being confined to a space that's sucking out your soul especially when you are working creatively.  

5. Write letters & notes: Instead of writing emails, hand write some letters instead.  You'll be taking a few minutes for yourself but also making someone else very happy.

6. Entertainment: Load up on music and dvd's or just crazy up the que on your netflicks.  A lot of times I'll have the computer on grooveshark or spotify and just let it run.  Other times I'll paint to the box set of Carnivale.

7. Read: Find a good fiction book you can get lost in.  I read a lot of non-fiction so sometimes I need a good piece of fiction to fall into.  Even 15 minutes of reading can get you back into the headspace you need to be to keep working.

8. Be silly: Take a couple of ridiculous self portraits to show the crazy in your eye from being confined to the house.  Laugh about it. It feels better now right?

9. Eat healthy:  Nothing will make you feel worse than fast food.  Eat right and get some exercize and you will have much more energy than those candy bars and coffee will ever give you.

10. Make time for friends:  This is one that I have been struggling with myself.  It's really easy to get caught up in the craziness of what you have to do.  I tend to lock myself away for long amounts of time.  Luckily though I tend to work with a bunch of my friends, wether on projects or classes etc.  This last one I'll be incorporating more.