It’s a difficult thing to keep, sometimes. I wanted to share my thoughts and hear some of yours.
I’ve been particularly unmotivated lately, myself. It’s always the way: you make plans, things get in the way. Or perhaps you just stumble off the path of your own accord, poor moods and life’s hassles getting in the way of what you want to do.
So what do you do to stay motivated?
Setting A Schedule
If you’re the type of person who sticks to a schedule, like me, then this may be the best way to overcome it. If I set myself calendar events and reminders, I can generally force myself to stick to them and get things done. After a while, I get back into the rhythm and the motivation returns.
Don’t Stop, and Hold Yourself Accountable
Whether you’re writing, making art or engaging in another hobby, it is integral to keep it up. Scare away the laziness and lack of motivation by continuing to contribute to your hobby a little each week. It’s obvious advice but it’s also a great way to return motivation. Regardless of whether you’ve been doing it a while, or you’re someone who wants to start, I would definitely recommend setting some time aside to get into things.
Another great way to do this is to hold yourself accountable. Do it publicly – I’ve seen plenty of artists stick to a “one drawing a day/week/month” and post to social media so they feel obligated to continue creating.
For writers, one great way is to set up a blog. A friend of mine, who goes by Zairron on the interwebs, has set up a blog for himself in order to keep writing. His blog is here and he writes some pretty neat stuff, so take a gander if you have the time. Even if you don’t end up with an audience, it’s still a great way to keep yourself writing and posting.
Talk to Other People
You’re never alone. Most other creatives have gone through exactly what you’re feeling and may be able to offer some great advice on how they got through it. Alternately, talking to others about your hobby may spark that excitement once more and get you right back into the swing of things. It can also be a great way to turn a negative attitude (especially if said hobby is stressing you out) into a positive one by talking about your ideas and past achievements.
Do Something Else
Yeah, you should probably be finishing that piece you’re working on, sure. But it’s making you miserable and every time you go to pick it back up you start to hate everything. So put it down for a second. Put it down and work on that vanity piece you’ve been planning. Draw or write some lavish nonsense that really tickles your fancy. It might just remind you why you do what you do and, with the creative juices flowing, you’ll be ready to slaver all over the thing you should have been doing in the first place.
Take a Long(ish) Break
While it seems to go against everything I’ve written above, it is sometimes necessary. You may be burnt out or stressed or simply not in the mood. And that’s okay. The very idea of having to force yourself to do the creative thing can sap your creativity. That doesn’t mean give up or fall into laziness but taking a set one-week or two-week break where you don’t think about doing the hobby at all can be very beneficial. Just make sure that at the end of it you take a day to try and start engaging again.
In the End, Do What Feels Right
I’ve give a few tips, but there’s never any reason to push yourself beyond what you can handle. If you’re struggling, try doing some of the above. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t stress. Just take another break and come back into it when you feel like it.
And, Most Importantly…
…remember why you started: because doing the thing makes you happy. If it starts to feel like a chore, then something needs to change whether that’s your mindset, your schedule or the way you’re going about your hobby. Be nice to yourself, because you should be loving what you do.
A real example:
I’ve been super slack lately and not even putting up blog posts or working on new writing. I told myself to relax and took a few weeks as a break without thinking about what I should, or need to, be doing. Then, I put in my calendar to sit down today and write this blog post. I procrastinated, I tooled about on the internet, I went for a walk and got a coffee. But then, when I came home, I sat down and I wrote this up. Not only do I feel much better because I did the thing I was meant to do, but getting my thoughts out really helped. I followed my own advice and it (thankfully) came through for me.
tl;dr – Be