So, how the heck do you get motivated? It’s an honest question and one that many of us struggle to answer. Considering how much spare time we’ve all had due to national and now regional lockdowns, there’s never been a better time for us to get off our bums and do the things we’ve been putting off for ages. But having the time is one thing – having the WANT to do it is something else.
So if you’re still unsure about whether that novel you’ve been meaning to write will write itself or whether that painting tutorial will magically appear finished in your living room, stop and have a read at these 5 ways to get yourself creatively motivated:
Don’t wait for inspiration to find you
You know that magic bolt of lightning known as inspiration that’s meant to hit you from on high? Yeah, it’s total nonsense. If you spend your days waiting for that moment to come, then you’ll invariably be waiting a very long time. While it’s nice when the basic seed of an idea come to you, the truth of the matter is you just have to start and see where it takes you.
Don’t be disheartened if what you’re working on doesn’t pan out
The road to success is paved with failure. That’s not some standard inspirational quote but a stone-cold fact. It’s how you react to these failures that defines how you move forward. Yes, it’s a blow when the grand idea doesn’t go the way you hoped, but if the painting you did sucked, that’s not to say the next one won’t. After Stephen King’s son failed to get his first book published, his famous father simply told him “you’re going to write another book.” Don’t dwell on it, acknowledge it and move on.
Be your own worst critic
It’s healthy to question your abilities. One day you might feel you’re painting the next Monet, then look at your work a week down the line and hate it. That’s the creative process through and through. Go ahead and dislike something you’ve done, but don’t allow it do put you off. Persevere, get it done, leave to one side then come back to it later with objective eyes.
Allow others to be critical
It’s also healthy to get a decent dose of constructive criticism. We’re not talking savage here. The work you’ve done may be terrible but to just come out and say as such is unhelpful. The best criticism is the stuff that helps you improve, that takes a negative and turns it into something that can be built on. Don’t be afraid to ask for someone’s opinion, and if what they’re saying isn’t too helpful, ask them what they’d do differently.
Get it done
Bob Ross would just keep going and turn any errors in his painting into “happy accidents”. Stephen King does not stop writing until a first draft is completed. Peter Jackson didn’t finish the final shot of Return of the King until 3 days before the film’s premier. Just get it finished, whether it’s a painting, a story, a drawing, anything, just keep going until it’s finished. You may not like it but regardless, there’s an inescapable feeling of achievement once it’s done. Remember that feeling, because it’s an added motivator in getting you to do it all over again.