After reading The nightmare of being an independent researcher, Applying for research funding as an independent researcher? and On getting reviews for research work as independent learners and reflecting on many a post PhD academic who, for whatever reason, are not able to get a foot in the door in academia after they complete their work.
I have seen this go both ways - the post-PhD after a while just gives up and gets any job they can, or they go down the path of independent research (usually, as in my case, while working full time).
From experience, this independent research is following on from the PhD topic, still in collaboration with others and at least one established academic, but it is the kind of situation where experiments are performed on the weekends in the backyard, using equipment borrowed or made, and more often than not, all self-funded. Papers still get published and conferences attended (where possible).
What my question is, what strategies are there to maintain motivation in independent research?
Additionally, how well recognised are independent researchers?