Creative Project Motivation
Over the last decade I observed a pattern in myself and in various creatives around me when it came to working on projects, most especially personal ones. Whether you’re creating a comic, drawing an animation, writing a novel, sculpting a city, or any creative long-term project, it starts out strong with a full head of steam and a drive to see it to completion. But after a few solid days of hard work, that motivation starts to fade, and with each day it gets harder to work on it.
Around the 10 day mark is when it seems to get the hardest. There will be a few days where it’s difficult to pick up the pencil or boot up the computer. The true weight of the project suddenly seems heavier than I can handle.
This seems to be the most crucial point and can make or break a project. Often if I give up at this point, that’s it, the project will never see completion and simply rot in Development Hell. In a rare case, I might pick it up years later, but that’s happened maybe once. However, if I can get myself to keep going anyway and trudge through those few difficult days, I will slowly start building motivation back up until it becomes a solid routine. In every case that I can get past that rough spot, I have seen the project to completion.
I encourage others who are suffering in that questionable zone to give this a try. Do whatever it takes to pick that pencil back up, or open that writing program, and work at it.
A technique I’ve found that works very effectively for me is to tell myself that I only need to work on it for five minutes. Surely I can handle five minutes! Usually within those five minutes my brain will then switch over and I will work the rest of the day/night. Sometimes it doesn’t, and after five minutes I’ll still put the pencil down, which is fine. But I’ll try again for five minutes later that same day, or on the following day, and eventually it will click over.
Hopefully this helps some folks out there struggling in their second week of production!
LIKE, THE REAL TESLA THAT WAS THE SCIENTIST not the uh lazy smelly one in the comics. SERIOUSLY, send money and help these guys buy the land Tesla’s lab is on and make a museum out of it! Tesla was a badass mad scientist (like a real crazy guy but he was cool) and he also loved pigeons (I’M LOOKING AT YOU NAPALM).