It’s safe to say that I am goal oriented almost to a fault. I love the sense of accomplishment that I get from checking something off my list, big or small. Setting goals is how I stay motivated.
However, setting and reaching goals is kind of like sprinting. Freelancing is more like marathon running. (I would imagine – I am basically the furthest thing from a runner.) In order to freelance, you have to keep up almost superhuman levels of motivation. Not only do I have to complete client work, which takes its own special kind of discipline, I also have to try to stay two steps ahead of myself. I’m always updating my blog, re-designing my website, thinking up side projects, refining my shop – basically doing things that take an enormous amount of time and energy, and only incremental rewards. For example: Getting comments on my blog is rewarding for me because I like to connect with people, and that’s why I blog. I don’t get a ton of comments, but if I keep blogging, maybe I will sometime in the future. Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated to keep blogging when I feel like I’m just talking to myself, but I have to start somewhere.
Honestly, my motivation has been flagging lately. I hesitate to write about this again, because I feel like it’s a sign that I am a terrible designer for not loving what I do all the time. But even though I knew that it would take me a long time to reach my goal of being what I define as a successful freelancer, the reality of that is setting in. Some days it feels like I will never get there. Even though I’ve made a lot of progress from last July, I still have a discouragingly long way to go.
I’m not complaining. I know what I signed up for when I decided to do this. It’s more.. The excitement of this being a new venture has worn off, and I’m trying to figure out how to keep up that fire without completely burning out. So I’ve been doing some different stuff lately. Yesterday, I moved all the furniture around in my apartment. I’m probably going to paint a lot of walls soon. I’ve been reading whenever I can. (Which is probably one of the most inspiring things I can do.) I’ve started watching more documentaries, because they make me think about things I might not have ever known about otherwise. Most of all, I’m giving myself a break. Last week was an off week. This week will be better. If I’m in it for the long haul, isn’t that what really counts?