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Navigating Roadblocks as an at Home Creative Professional

Navigating Roadblocks as an at Home Creative Professional main article image
Posted on May 27, 2022 by Miles Oliver

The ability to work from home as a creative professional is a well-earned blessing. You’ve probably gone through countless hours of training, worked more than a few office-based jobs, and now you finally get the chance to hone your craft and earn income in your own creative space. 

However, as with all blessings, working from home as a creative can also be challenging. There are plenty of roadblocks that can derail you throughout the day, as things like social media, financial obligations, and family members can distract you from getting your work done. 

First and foremost, you must remember that every creative professional goes through a challenging period after the “honeymoon” period ends. Making ends meet as a creative professional is difficult, but with hard work and strategic planning, you can successfully navigate most roadblocks that get in your way. 

Working from Home

Do you remember the first day you worked from home as a creative? You were probably a little giddy, and ended the day thinking  “I can’t believe I get to do this for a living.” 

But life changes fast and working from home can quickly become a burden. This is particularly true if you are self-employed and haven’t yet raised the funds to create your perfect home office or creative studio. You may find that your personal life starts to seep into your creative space (and vice-versa!). This will only make it harder to focus when working from home and threatens to derail your entire workday. 

Poor organization isn’t necessarily your fault. Research shows that artists have structurally different brains, meaning your inability to effectively organize and keep your life separate from your work may stem from your neurology. 

However, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to pile bills and paperwork next to your canvas or notebook. Instead, consider reaching out to a professional organizer who can help you keep your craft room clean and give you effective storage options that make the most of the space you do have. 

You also need to organize your time to find success as an at-home creative professional. Even though you are technically at home, your family members (pets included!) must respect your working hours, and shouldn’t come to you for things like food, play, or small talk. 

Being stingy with your time might feel mean at first, but it is a vital part of protecting your mental health when working from home. You can also try things like filling your creative space with plants and experimenting with brief meditation sessions. These strategies can help you refocus during a stressful day and create a more resilient, positive mindset. 

If you find yourself struggling to get all of your work done during the day, consider trying deep working hours. Choose 3 – 5 hours a day when you make yourself unavailable for anything short of an emergency. Turn off any unnecessary devices and commit yourself to a burst of creative output. By organizing your day around deep working hours, you ensure that your creative work gets done, and you can focus the rest of your time on things like building a social media presence or financial planning. 

Navigating Social Media

Social media is a two-edged sword for creative professionals. On the one hand, platforms like Instagram and Facebook help you gain exposure and may even land you new clients. But, on the other hand, social media can take up all your time and result in unnecessary comparisons with other creatives.

To get the most out of social media, you need to keep your personal and professional accounts entirely separate. It’s easy to waste time browsing a friend’s wedding photos while you should be responding to commission requests, and responding to business-related social media messages promptly is important. 

You should also familiarize yourself with social media analytics. Instagram and Facebook both have pages to help you track the reach and engagement of your posts, and you should use these insights to develop a clear social media strategy when taking your creative practice online. Analytics help you create posts that land you new clients and may ease any financial strain you are feeling. 

Managing the Strain

Working from home as a creative professional can be incredibly stressful. Even if you love your work and wouldn’t trade your lifestyle for anything, working in relative isolation on creative projects can strain your mental wellbeing and leave you feeling anxious or burnt out. 

Financial uncertainty probably plays a major role in your stress as an at-home creative. This is particularly true if you are freelancing. While it’s now harder to secure itemized tax deductions, you can pursue freelance funding opportunities like grants, crowdfunding, and microloans. Just be sure to look into these financial options outside of your deep-working hours to ensure you still get your day’s work completed on time. 

If the stress of working from home is overwhelming, then you should consider seeing a medical professional who can recommend therapists and treatment to suit you. 


Working from home as a creative professional should fill you with joy and energy. Each day presents you with a new opportunity to hone your craft and reach a wider audience. However, working from home does present challenges. You need to be stingy with your time and energy and should make use of deep working hours to reach your creative and professional potential.

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