Oprah calls them epiphanies and my best friend calls them light bulb moments. Whatever they are called, they are the seeds of inspiration that lead us down the paths of success whether in our personal or professional lives.
I used to ignore them as fleeting daydreams of things that would never happen, and then one day, the light bulb stayed on. And I figured out my subconscious was trying to tell me something.
It was trying to tell me, WAKE UP! I was drowning in a sea of debt, no money coming in, sick with cancer, with just one desire; to write. I had an excellent education with two degrees no less. I just wasn’t connecting enough dots to survive. Any of you are/were in a similar situation? If so, read on.
Writing Ideas Down
As a writer and a designer I have been taught to notice things others usually don’t. Things like color and texture and the way I put a sentence together all play into how successful I am on any given project. But sometimes it would stick and sometimes it would stink.
Then I started writing my little flashbulbs down on paper. I would wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for an article or the perfect image for a client’s brochure. Even if it was no more than a rough pencil sketch, I jotted it down. The more I kept track, the more light bulbs went off. Needless to say, I started carrying a notebook in my purse with a pencil attached.
Increase Your Success Rate
I keep all the little notebooks and scraps of paper I write things down on now. I have paper napkins that have ideas for stories and articles I want to write in a box on my book shelf so that when I am lacking for inspiration, I go to the box and start digging.
I have notebooks with detailed diagrams of business opportunities and how I would go about setting these in motion. What the cost of the operation might be and any other details I happen to think of at the time. I have gone back and looked at some of these that are now several years old and some are really good and some aren’t.
But the test of time has allowed me the luxury of being able to rekindle my epiphanies, and increase my success rate with my clients.
The secret to my inspirational epiphanies is not to think too hard. Accept the moment just as that; a moment. Write it down as much as you can recall and let the rest happen. And it will because it is already inside you and is just a matter of recalling it to the surface. Write down everything that comes through at that moment you can’t describe. It’s like looking at an image slightly out of focus and all of a sudden it becomes crystal clear for just a moment before fading back into the fog. You want to record the crystal clear moment for later.
I don’t know exactly why this works, but I do know it does. And the more I listen to that little voice telling me how to make my projects great, the better I get at doing my job.
Everyone works differently and their inspiration comes from all kinds of sources. Maybe you wake up and do your best work like I do, in the middle of the night. Or maybe you find inspiration through nature or your kids or whatever. No matter where it comes from, as freelancers we have to learn to listen to it. And when we hear it, we should act on it. Where do you find your inspiration?