I think that artists and freelancers are often envied because of the apparent looseness of their schedules, and the presumed ease with which they go about their business. They seemingly build their lives however they like, and the assumption is that it’s all just very bohemian and artsy and cool. Everything about it looks very effortless and chic on the outside. I mean, even I assume this as I observe other artists.
But I trust that any artist who really wants to be serious about their work and their life, has to at some point become pretty structured about it. It can’t just be loose and laid-back: we all need to show up, when we tell ourselves we will, and also learn to stop and let go of the work regularly as well. Otherwise, we’ll be living with a lot of inner turmoil, with nagging shoulds of one sort or another in the back of our brains, day after day… Unfortunately I know this feeling first-hand.
An artist life that works, probably ends up looking much like a 9 to 5 job. When I have no structure, I end up feeling like I’m working All The Time; and thus exhausted, I’m probably not accomplishing as much. It’s a hole I want to climb out of. Now. Also, it is easy to procrastinate, when no one is keeping me in check… It is easy to whittle away the hours, seemingly doing things, while not really accomplishing the stuff that I want to.. but it’s got a serious consequence: my goals will not be reached. Yikes!
We all need a breather from our work–some time to grow, time to enjoy life, time to explore… By structuring my life better and creating free time, I believe I’ll be a lot happier and more effective too. I feel very excited about this actually! I already see light at the end of the tunnel!
It is a learning process to balance an artist life, but it can be done. It’s just not as bohemian and loose as it seems.