Loss Of Motivation – The Downsides of a Creative Life

We all experience a loss of motivation at some point. We can start the day with a perfect vision of conquering our tasks, but by the end of it we wonder where all the time went.

This December I challenged myself to make 21 days worth of content.

After stumbling through 8 days and now being 1 whole week behind, I have decided to scrap that challenge…for now. I guess, in a way, I failed. But I’m kinda glad that I did.

Unfortunately, it was a lot more work than I thought it would be. And I experienced a serious lack of motivation to do anything related to writing or videomaking once I hit day 7.

In the past this lack of motivation has stopped me pursuing a lot of things because I have believed that it means I no longer have a passion for it. This time, it’s different. I realised it was more of a feeling of burn-out and pressure.

Loss of motivation isn’t loss of passion

Creating content is amazing but it’s a long process. And when you’re combing through lots of old footage, you can find yourself sat at home on your laptop for hours on end. This is what my life has been like during the weeks when I’ve been posting weekly videos and blogs.

I definitely find this lifestyle to be more fun and freeing than working in an office but it can still become a little stale.

This loss of motivation, paired with a succession of headaches (maybe from staring at a screen too much), led me to turn off my macbook for 24 hours.

It was incredibly refreshing to take a day off from my laptop. As much as I love my little creative stallion, I needed some time away.

Instead, I grabbed my camera to shoot some film for an upcoming video about Couchsurfing. And later on that day I went to the gym, wrote in my journal, read a book, played my guitar and watched an episode of Game of Thrones.

Those activities re-invigorated me. The next day I felt inspired. Ideas for videos and blogs started buzzing round my head again, making me want to get back to my laptop to create… but I stopped myself from doing so.

Taking the pressure off…

Sometimes the reason that I take so long to create things is because I put a pressure on myself to create as perfectly as possible… I feel the need to think up the next sentence and type it out as if I have no opportunity to edit it later (in reality, I edit a piece several times before I post it, and then a couple times after I post it).

There is the creative dilemma of quality vs quantity in this scenario. Having a sheer quantity of blogs and videos would make me look more established. But if that body of work is not up to scratch (or not as good as it could have been with an extra day or two of work) then it could tarnish my credibility to be making these things.

In the end, making sub-par work is not my goal.

I was also feeling pressure to complete several ‘personal admin’ tasks.

I knew that it might be possible to catch up on my 21 day challenge schedule but that none of my personal admin would end up complete if I did so. If I’m honest, completing that challenge was not worth it to be growing a mould factory in my bathroom, or worth the guilt of giving my family their Christmas presents after the day itself.

These personal admin tasks were bringing me down so I decided to take the time to complete them so those rain clouds wouldn’t turn into a storm.

In doing so, this made me feel very productive. Nothing can make me more motivated than crossing items off my (many) lists.

Ready to get back at it

It can be tough to do but turning away from tasks might be the path to getting your motivation back. It was for me, at least.

Taking a full 360 and shaking things up can re-ignite your passion and drive to get back to it. And removing other external pressures definitely helps.

I said earlier that I am glad that I failed this 21 day challenge. That might seem a little bit contradictive (because it definitely hurt my pride a little).

I am glad because it reminded me why I am doing what I am doing. It reminded me about what motivates me. What I am seeking to achieve. And it reminded me not to give up (when the going gets a little tough).

This week I will be back to my normal posting (2 blogs, 1 video and 1 Medium post) and I am feeling the motivation and drive, once again. I am also excited to take a little break over Christmas so that I can seek inspiration from books and films (because I haven’t been doing nearly enough of this).

If you’re experiencing a loss of motivation right now then I seriously recommend doing something different… go out and do some things that you love (but haven’t done in a while); take a day away from technology; and then complete some of those annoying little ‘personal admin’ tasks.

Hope you found some motivation in here and thanks for reading! 🙂

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