I spent one week in January in isolation due to a close COVID-19 exposure. It brought flashbacks to the onset of the pandemic in 2020 when our lives were uprooted and we had to learn how to adapt to working from home, have meals delivered to our doors, and find creative outlets to keep our minds occupied during long days and nights without much human interaction.
This time around was a little different, though. I have the shots and the booster, and because I wasn’t showing symptoms, I got to go to work (but isolate myself in my office — you know, limited interaction with other people). One thing I was thankful for that week was having some creative work to keep my mind busy in the evening.
Outside of my job at the Library, I do some marketing work for NonprofitGO and graphic design work for Roxy’s Downtown. These two jobs outside of my “9 to 5” keep the creative part of my brain going. Oftentimes I find myself working on strategic projects at the Library, and I don’t get to exercise the creative part of my brain as much as I’d like.
As a communicator, I think it’s important to find some creative outlets aside from your day-to-day. I think this keeps your work fresh, your mind sharp and doesn’t make you totally lose it during these pandemic times.
If you think about it, we’re the lucky ones. Communication work is creative. We get to exercise creativity through writing, design, video, audio, campaigns, strategy, media relations and so much more. And while we get to use our creativity in our everyday work, it’s also nice to find those creative projects that take your mind away from your job and expand your skills. If you feel the slog of the day-to-day, find things that help you relax and let you use your creativity in a different way. You can garden or play Words With Friends or read a book or go to the Wichita Art Museum. By doing activities that bring you joy and let you use your creativity, you may just find that spark of inspiration you’ve been looking for.
We have a great member base in Wichita Professional Communicators. Many are independent contractors. If you have ever been interested in picking up some independent creative work on the side, or want to break out on your own, I highly encourage you to network with other WPC members. We have members who do independent work in social media, writing, journalism and graphic design. I’m confident they will share their secrets and help you get started.
– Sean Jones, WPC president