Monday, December 19th, 2016
Enjoy this guest blog post by Jenny Holt, freelance writer, who wrote about working from home for creative people. It’s very relevant for myself and I’m sure it is for some of you, too. I hope it helps you making the right decision for yourself.
Are you a creative considering a move away from an official workplace and working from the comfort of your own home? A recent study by the Trade Union Congress found that the number of people working regularly from home in the UK has risen by a fifth in the last decade, now topping over 1.5 million. But the freedom offered by a home office situation isn’t for everyone. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider before taking the leap.
Creative people thrive on the versatility and flexibility that working from home provides – after all, there’s no knowing when the Muse will pay you a visit! Plus, you get to take holiday when you want, work around other commitments, and choose to work at your most productive time.
Creatives are also often best left to their own devices if they want to get the optimum results from their work. A micromanaging boss is the last thing you need when you’re in the throes of creating something amazing, and being at home gives you the autonomy you need to make this happen. You get to develop your best ideas and have control over your creative process, which leads to fulfillment and professional satisfaction.
Doing what you love is essential for your happiness. But it’s not always easy if the job you love doesn’t bring in as much money, or as reliable an income, as a 9-5 office job. Having your studio or office at home cuts overheads and can help make your dream job a possibility.
Lack of structure
Creative people often go through spells of being swept up in the inspiration of what they’re doing, and then facing periods of relative inactivity. If you’re in a shared workspace under a boss, you’re forced to work through these dry spells, but when you work from home, you can just indulge them. Think sleeping in, staying in your pyjamas all day, getting very little done and, consequently: not being able to pay the rent.
Working from home has many pros and cons, but one of the biggest negatives is the feeling of loneliness that can sometimes arise from working alone. When you work in a shared space like an office, you’re forced into contact with people regularly, which although can sometimes be frustrating, is a natural state for human beings. If you have no other reason to leave your house, you may find that you don’t have human contact for days on end with anyone except your immediate family, which can lead to the formation of negative thought patterns and habits.
What are your thoughts on becoming a freelancer?
– A guest blog post by Jenny Holt, Freelance Writer –
Monday, July 25th, 2016
I finally found the time to write about how to become a successful freelancer. It has been more than 6 months for me and I already can tell you a few things about what to do and what to avoid. I have written a blog post about the beginnings before, but here’s my progress. When I talk to people about how to become a successful freelancer there’s such a big halo around it. Don’t misunderstand me, I like it when people think it’s a big deal but I also think if you’re a creative person who likes to find solutions, becoming a freelancer is easier than you think. It has a lot to do with your own attitude.
Before I give you some useful tips I want to tell you when I decided to go freelance and how I started. As far as I remember, I started thinking about freelancing 4 months into my new job when I also started this blog in January 2015. I secretly told myself I have one year to make the jump. So I’d say my thoughts lasted way longer than my actions but that’s quite a common thing. The urgency of becoming freelance is mostly developed out of an emergency, e.g. getting fired, or a huge dissatisfaction, e.g. the job is not fulfilling anymore. My job was alright and so were all the others before but my problem was that everything was too slow for me and I could barely develop my own skills because I had to follow processes and rules. I know I sound like such a rebel but I knew for a long time I might not be the best person doing what other people tell me to do, at least not without questioning it. So freelancing was the first step into independence. I’m guilty of not being prepared enough, i.e. I didn’t have savings when I made the jump. I just couldn’t wait anymore. It might not be the best starting point but on the other hand, I really needed to push myself to make things happen.
At the moment, I still have a mix of different jobs. I work sporadically for an agency as a social media manager and I do have my own clients. I’ve been incredibly lucky that my clients can see such a big potential in me and trust me with my expertise. I not only help them with their social media channels, I also provide help with branding, PR, and marketing. The truth is that I can do so much more than social media but sometimes it’s tricky to sell this to your client when your obvious expertise is social media. Once people get to know me and have seen what I’m capable of we’re rocking their brand together.
But enough about me and my clients. I want to tell you a little bit more about how you can make it, too. Here we go!
Please share your thoughts with me! Are you thinking of going freelance? What does stop you? Where do you see your biggest problem? I’m happy to give some more advice and encouragement!
Working from the coffee shop around the corner of co-working space Campus London.
Working with my freelance friend Emelie on my shared terrace in East London.
Thursday, March 31st, 2016
Three months have passed by since I quit my job and went freelance. It’s time to talk a little bit about my freelance life and maybe give you some tips as well if you’re thinking about taking the big step.
How do I earn my money?
I think I’ve been quite lucky but at the moment I work three days a week in a social media agency, helping out on projects and support different teams. I say I’m lucky because it’s quite unusual that you can do that in the advertising world. Normally you commit to a couple of months work full-time from Monday to Friday and maybe you take off some time in between jobs. It’s a little risky since I don’t have a contract with the agency (just a verbal agreement & yes, they pay me) but at the same time I have never been that flexible in my life. I also have my own clients, i.e. I do social media strategies and management for startups. It takes some time to get my own clients but that’s okay.
How do I feel?
I know that being a freelancer is riskier than working in a full-time job but I’m totally fine with that. I feel really good and I already can’t imagine to go back to a full-time job (I will though if I’m starving). I’m not saying it’s easy but I do like the feeling of making my own decisions. All depends on the effort I put in. Of course, self-doubt is sometimes part of my life but what’s the point in thinking about that when you need to figure out a) how to earn money and b) how to be happier. Self-doubt is good for self-improvement but that’s about it. So although it can be a little hard sometimes I haven’t regret a second that I went freelance. All I know is that I have to learn a lot and I’m very excited to do so.
I want to build my client base and do more of social media strategy and consultancy for smaller businesses. That’s one part. The other part of this journey is also to be more creative and explore my artistic side. I have to admit the time I spend to create and to design has not increased since I’m a freelancer. I definitely need to make more time for it. Nobody is perfect, right?! BUT, there is a new website – www.zippi.co.uk – I discovered recently where I can sell my design on products within the UK. Although I really like Society6 it’s still very difficult to actually get products from the US without waiting for weeks and paying for customs.
What advice can I give you?
That’s my so-called freelance life after three months. I’m still very excited to see what’s next and I’m willing to work my ass off in order to never stand still and to improve wherever I can. I might have some new insights and tips for you in three months or I might tell you things went in the opposite direction. I’ll definitely let you know.
What’s your opinion on freelancing?
Tuesday, January 26th, 2016
Are you creative? You probably struggle to answer that question or you’d immediately answer ‘no’ because you don’t think you’re creative. I can only assume that you probably associate being creative with having a talent such as drawing, crafting, designing, singing, dancing or writing. Creative people might be able to draw or write but that doesn’t mean you’re not creative because you can’t do these things. I want to show you why you’re perfectly capable of living a creative life without having an artistic ability.
Have a look at the seven signs of creativity below and let me know after you read the blog post if you see you’re a creative person. By the way, you don’t have to answer all the questions with a ‘yes’ in order to claim you’re a creative person. One is already enough. Furthermore, there are probably even more signs showcasing that you’re creative. I don’t think there’s only one definition of creativity. Creativity is very subjective and can be seen in so many different environments, not only in the art industry.
Here we go, let’s start with some questions about your creativity!
All the above points have one thing in common: they need action. Creativity is going hand in hand with doing, producing, executing and creating. I agree if you don’t do anything then you’re not creative. But if you’re working on your future, if you’re finding new ways to make your life exciting, if you’re thinking how to make your friends and family happy then it’s hard for me to say you’re not creative.
There are really different ways to be creative. You can also be artistic but we can talk about this another time (or if you’re interested I already started a discussion on being an artist here).
So if you feel creative leave a comment below.
Thursday, December 10th, 2015
I recently wrote about what I think art is (for me). These thoughts about art motivated Alba to think about it, too. We started a conversation on my blog and the result is Alba continues this thought in another post on my blog. I love it! My blog is not only me but also my readers, that’s why I was more than happy to let Alba talk about her thoughts – also because I mostly agree with her view on art. It’s a little provocative but the more I think about it the more it makes sense to me. With no further comments I let you enjoy Alba’s thoughts about art below.
When I read Uli’s article, I couldn’t resist the temptation to share my own perception about art on the comments. Later I thought: why not ask her if I could share it with the readers of her blog?
I am an artist; a writer more specifically. It took me some time to take it seriously and I have met many people on the way who would disagree if I call myself “artist” – probably they don’t think of me as a writer either. However, I understand why because being an artist has connotations attached to it that doesn’t reflect the reality. I think that is the barrier that is stopping us from letting concept of art evolve.
When we look at famous painters, dancers, writers and composers, their names go surrounded by this halo of dignity and a spark of ingenuity. We all have heard stories about how they created masterpieces and the kind of bohemian life they had. But the truth is that in many cases, those are mere legends: behind every genius there is a story of hard work, failures and rejections that we overlook, creating as a consequence an aura of mystery.
The Western world’s perception of being an artist is about selected people with an incredible gift or talent related to the high arts. But in my opinion it has more to do with craftwork and perseverance, and a strong bond with creativity.
Here is what I believe:
Of course, this is my opinion. However, art is changing and I think we should adjust our values to the reality we have in front of us. The same way that photography and movies were included some time ago, designs, video games and more should be too.
So, if you want to be an artist, be. After all, it is all about how you perceive yourself and the world around you.
What do you think?
Saturday, November 21st, 2015
I’m new to this world, therefore I want to share some thoughts about art with you. It’s a very individual perspective and what I’m about to say are thoughts and not facts.
I don’t have an artistic background, i.e. I haven’t studied art, my family has never showed a lot of interest in art and I wasn’t that child sketching on paper whenever I had time or even when I should have concentrated on something else. I love a story like that – a story telling I’ve always been drawn to art and I couldn’t exist without it – but that’s not my story. My story is a bit different. I can see that I have been creative over the last decades because my parents have a few paintings and collages made by me hanging on their wall at home. I think I saw making and creating and drawing more as giving it as a gift rather than as spending time to explore art. I don’t think that’s a wrong thing but it also tells me I’ve never thought about art properly.
Art was never an option for my career. I don’t even know if it’s appropriate to have ‘career’ and ‘art’ in one sentence. Does it fit together? Here are my thoughts about what art means to me.
The question to myself and to you is: Is it possible to start exploring art when you’re older (I mean older than 10 and maybe older than a student) and is it crazy to have the vision of being an artist in the future? It scares me to ask this question but I have this great desire to really get into it. I might not come out as an artist – when is an artist an artist anyway?! – but I want to explore the freedom, the possibilities and the growth of the mindset.
What is your perspective on art?
Saturday, October 24th, 2015
It doesn’t happen often that I share something really personal about me but when my parents came to visit me a few weeks ago and my boyfriend captured this lovely photo I thought I want to share it with you and talk a little bit about the people we love.
Today in two months is Christmas – at least in Germany. I love celebrating Christmas with my family and I realised I haven’t seen them since last year at Christmas. That’s definitely not enough. One of my New Year’s resolution already is to spend more time with the people I love. Unfortunately, my sister didn’t have the time to visit me a couple of weeks ago so I will really see her only this year at Christmas, after one year of no hugs.
Don’t ask me how this happened but if you live in London life is unbelievably fast. I have to remind myself that there is more than work and going out to nice places. We never know how much time we have with our loved ones. So this is a reminder to myself and to all of you. See your family more often and spend some quality time with your friends. Enjoy the little moments and forget for a second that there’s a busy life out there. I forgot this a little bit over the year and I’m ready to make some changes.
Thanks for taking the time reading this blog post. Feel free to leave a comment below. I speak to you soon!
Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
This is a blog post about the power of positive thinking. Especially, when you’re creative you have to stay positive and you shouldn’t give up. In order to progress you need to turn around things and keep going. I understand that writing these lines is easier than actually thinking positively and eventually be happier but you have to start somewhere.
Since I’ve read a few psychology books – non of them is called The Power of Positive Thinking though – I keep working on my positive attitude. It’s not always easy but the most important thing is that I don’t lose faith. Here are a few tips I use for myself to stay positive.
There are probably other ways you can stay positive. I’m also a big fan of reading books. As I mentioned before, a lot of the books I’m reading have a psychological element in them. I don’t want to say they’re guidebooks but they do explore human behaviour in our society. Just to name one book, the Social Animal is worth reading. It’s a thick book but sooo interesting.
Is there anything you’re doing to stay positive?
Saturday, September 5th, 2015
Do you actually know where the name of my blog comes from? Probably not because I haven’t told that many people. It took me a while to come up with a name for my blog.
I have a short description of the theme of my blog in my About section but let me tell you a little bit more. There are three main aspects why I have this blog.
So this is my blog explained in more detail. Tell me about your blog and how you stay creative!
Friday, August 21st, 2015
I remember the project when I sent another blogger a surprise box, and when I also received a package back with lots of cute things in it. When you feel down receiving a box full of goodies that’s just perfect, isn’t it?
The feeling of happiness is quite individual but almost shows the same symptoms: you’re smiling, maybe even laughing, your body feels good, you want to share your happiness with others, you love yourself and others to the moon. Just writing this makes me feel a little happier.
Let me start by telling you what makes me happy.
I need to stop here but I realised I could go on and on. How amazing is that? I have a lot of things which make me happy. You should try it and write down all the things which make you happy. The last bullet point is quite important and something I just realised in the last years. I think the older I get the more I understand that giving is part of experiencing happiness.
Here are three aspects of happiness we should pay more attention to:
So whilst I was writing this blog post I tweeted about this post and BOOM all of a sudden so many people responded to my question what makes them happy. I can tell you it made me super happy to read all those tweets. We definitely had a moment there where we appreciated all the good things in our lives. Check out the responses below.
What makes you happy?
Last but not least, if you feel a little down today use #EmergencyHappiness and send a tweet to @ in order to win a happiness box yourself.