Weekly Reading: Inspiration for Working Independently

As a creative, you might identify as a freelancer—someone who eschews permanent employment from one place to pursue multiple opportunities. Or you could just take on passion projects in addition to your regular work.

Either way, when you’re working independently, it’s key to not only stay excited about what you’re doing, but to also work smart and stay productive. Keep those things in mind when managing projects and voila: You’ve got a formula to ban burn-out!

Check out this week’s round-up of great reads to help you stay on track while working independently. Because when it comes to staying self-motivated, inspiration always comes in handy.

1. “Create For Yourself, Not for Anyone Else”

Red Lemon Club is a resource for creatives and entrepreneurs of all kinds to help them grow both their skills and their client bases.

Run by Alex Mathers, a London-based writer/illustrator, the site regularly features great posts from Mathers and contributors on everything from manifesting your ideas to getting attention for your product to winning clients.

This post from Mathers encourages us all to create work that we like and enjoy, not just because a company asks for it, to stimulate our creativity in the long-run.

Click here to read more


2. “Surprisingly Simple Ways You Can Trick Your Brain into Focusing”

The pull to multitask is a strong one. If you’re in front of a computer, or have a phone nearby, it’s easy to do many things at once: check email, update social sharing platforms, listen to a song, skim through an article...and work.

How can you conquer the distractions to hone your focus and work smarter?

Fast Company outlines the tenets of SMART, a brain-training program that emphasizes focusing on one thing at a time, adopting different perspectives, and distilling information to up your mental game.

Click here to read more


3. “6 real-world tips for becoming a more productive and successful freelancer”

Being a professional freelancer takes organization, energy, and a whole lot of discipline.
— Brian Glassman, "6 real-world tips for becoming a more productive and successful freelancer"

A haven for freelancers and small business owners alike, Millo has heaps of articles that you can turn to in times of need for a pick-me-up. Check out these 6 concrete tips to help you do more as a freelancer.

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4. “‘Do art and do it for the rest of your lives:’ Kurt Vonnegut’s letter to high schoolers”

Kurt Vonnegut proffers some touching wisdom via Freelancers Union.

In this letter that Vonnegut apparently sent to a group of high-school students, he advises them to pursue art in any form. Better yet, to practice just for themselves.

Even if you’re far beyond high-school stage, we’re all perennial learners; make the time for your creative process to help your “soul grow,” in the words of Kurt.

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Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.
— Kurt Vonnegut in a letter to high school students, via Freelancers Union

5. What productivity systems won’t solve

Get your zen on. 

Leo Baubata’s blog is based on finding peace in daily life and reworking derailing habits.

In this post, he tackles the elephant that hovers in the room: procrastination, the enemy of many a creative working all on their own.

Read for inventive and thought-provoking tips on why taking the time to stop wasting time is a good investment.

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What are you looking forward to reading this weekend? We’d love to visit the best articles or posts you read this week that helped you do the great work you do!

Justin DeMers