I’m a self taught freelance storyboard artist for advertising in his fifth year of struggle in an industry that no longer bothers to train or groom anyone like it used to. In this field you are on your own and there is little to guide you in skills acquisition and finding connections. It’s the fuzziest of fuzzy edged jobs.
I always meet deadlines (They are short and brutal) and work pretty much every hour of the day I have available to me at improving my skills and speed.
The only thing is I have trouble guiding myself to the best thing to do at any given time and also have real trouble finishing personal projects. Once the motivation of money goes away my work intensity drops off and I start to follow every impulse I have. I never have completely finished a project done strictly for myself. I will start innumerable things but rebel at finishing. Some of the problem I have is frustration about my inadequate skills and some is boredom.
Lately the need to pay attention to personal projects as a way to open doors for me to both make more money and fulfill myself creatively has become acute. The passing of my father, the birth of my only child, and turning 50 have brought me up from my youthful reverie rather rudely.
So I’m coming here to hopefully learn to get my crap together.
I recently started Yoga - I think it might help you too? I do it to improve my flexibility, but I’ve noticed some tangible psychological effects already (after about 12 weeks) - a result of the laid back attitude (so what if you don’t finish something - who’s assessing you?!) and the meditation (which is a great way of clearing your mind and getting things in perspective). The weird thing is, now that I don’t worry about getting things finished or what to do with my time, more of it seems to get done!
It helps if you sleep better…
Alternatively, you could be as brutal with yourself as your work is! It gets results - I used to study music, and I used to make myself get up early to practise scales, do extra gigs, etc… Then I realised everyone around me was on medication, watched my teacher have a mental breakdown, and decided to take a break So, um, not recommended in the long term…
3rd option - a local poet (who was interviewed on the radio) will start work, then he will leave it in a cupboard for a year or more. When he revisits it, he can see ways to make it better and his enthusiasm is renewed. It will often evolve from the original concept or idea. Or it will just ‘click.’
Oh, and there’s the advice I got at a recent womans’ conference - but it applies to everyone. Get someone else to do your housework and other mundane tasks, because your time is precious (NB the woman who said this was totally loaded and had maids and stuff, but it’s a good excuse to use a laundrette…). Try to integrate things - maybe your child would like to “help” with some of your art you could probably draw a lot of inspiration from him and the other events in your life?
Oh, look at me handing out advice, surrounded by half-finished books and knitting and… ooh, half-finished wine Hope it’s some kind of help Good luck!