Self Discipline for Freelancers

Being a composer, or rather being self emplyed requires a tremendous amount of self discipline. If you have the possibility to fall into lazyness, the temptation to actually fall into it is quite high. Every self employed person knows that sometimes the desire to just close this really annoying project and go out and do something else is something to struggle with more or less often and procrastination might really get a serious issue.

One thing that will NEVER work when you are on projects with deadlines is to wait for the last moment to start. “I can work best under pressure” is a terrible excuse and way too much of a gamble. Most projects come up with problems during the working process that you couldn’t have anticipateted when you started out. There might be last minute changes or “another extra cue” and if you have spent two weeks doing nothing and try to write the score in the last three days instead of spreading the workload evenly, exactly such unforseen events will break your neck.

Everybody knows that even in your dream job, you can’t always work on fun projects that will motivate you to work as much as possible just because you enjoy working on them so much. But even on the less enjoyable projects, you need to keep self discipline. Try to find anything to motivate you. Even things like “This project will pay three of my rents” etc. might be a good motivator.


  1. Manuel Grunden

    This is probably the most crucial thing of all. In my experience, capable composers and similar creators rarely suffer from laziness though (which I define as not working WITHOUT a bad conscience), but indeed from procrastination. This mostly stems from perfectionism and the fear of not creating something good enough. It can lead to serious mental health issues and feelings of shame and, if experienced by oneself, is oftentimes a bigger priority to tackle than e.g. gaining that little bit more knowledge of a certain aspect of one’s craft.

    • Robin

      Great addition! Thanks!


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