Successful freelancers are passionate about what they do. They commit to their clients and to the projects they work together on. To be inspired, you should be interested in where architectural rendering is going. It will help you craft a vision and a plan. Become voracious about architectural renderings. What work is being done that is transforming our industry creatively and economically? Knowing this helps you see where you can be most efficient in the work that you do. The best architectural illustrators keep great resource files, either digital or physical, to draw upon for ideas and inspiration.
One of the most insightful tools are architectural illustrator's journals and sketchbooks. They become rich documentation of a illustrator's evolution. They force you to become committed to your view of the world. I suggest joining and participating in cg rendering-related communities such as the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI). Meet fellow architectural illustrators and contribute your ideas. Become part of communities that are positive about the impact that architectural renderings can have for commerce and for social or environmental good.
Avoid the complainers. Commiserating with whiny architectural illustrators is a waste of time. Read forums such as Chaos Group, CGRamp, Evermotion, CGArena, and Computer Graphics Society; they will help you understand the greater impact that architectural renderings is capable of making. What you will learn will make your conversations with colleagues and clients much richer. It's great because you become a resource for new and innovative thinking. Understand the economy and culture of the city that you live in.
Even though we're in a global economy, most of the freelancers' work will come from large and small local sources. Stay relevant and clear. Clarity is necessary to make tough decisions faster. It's a required skill to navigate the peaks and valleys of our economy. Clarity is also required to access our intuition and our creativity. It's a necessary component for empathy, the successful Architectural Illustrator's secret weapon. As a freelancer you should ask yourself, is this work meaningful and lucrative? If the answer is yes, you have a great foundation for your work that can sustain your effort for the long term.
Enjoy yourself and take pride in the fact that you're in control of your own destiny.