You know how, when your foot falls asleep and goes numb, then wakes up with that horrible pins and needles sensation? You know it’s going to pass, but it drives you nuts until it does. You just have to remind yourself, it will pass.
At the moment, that’s what I’ve got going on with my motivation and enthusiasm. They’re waking up, so that’s good. It’s just not the most comfortable experience.
Add a nice bit of jury duty (still ongoing, by the way) on top of all that, and it makes for an interesting week, goal-wise.
This week, I have the honor of serving for jury duty.
Seriously, I’m not being sarcastic. Sure, it’s already been a long process and will probably go a few days longer still. Sure, it’s thrown off my schedule and left me scrambling to get things done at home. But it’s a pretty important part of our constitution and a way to serve my country.
Also, it’s my first time and, as a writer, I’m endlessly curious about all of it. The people, the process, everything.
Anyway, I haven’t had the wherewithal to come up with a brilliant post for you, this Wednesday. Instead, I dug out one of my favorite old posts. Think of it like those perfectly broken in jeans. They’re old, but they’re soft and fit you like they were made for you.
Okay…so this isn’t that amazing. But still, it’s a bit of fun for your mid-week enjoyment.
Also, it asks a very important philosophical question…
For the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling to keep my productivity up. It’s partly a (temporary) lull in motivation, partly some minor life upheaval, and partly creative fatigue. I’m thankful things are beginning to turn around. The effects of the minor life upheaval have dissipated, motivation is beginning to revive and the creative well is (slowly) refilling. I’m looking forward to regaining a happy momentum…the sooner the better.
This experience has reminded me that I need to plan for dips in motivation and creative fatigue. Both are normal parts of any goal-oriented journey. And I’ve realized that I can’t always rely on momentum alone to keep me going. Friction, my friends, is the enemy of perpetual motion machines and mental processes (different kinds of friction, I know…but, whatever).
Now, I just need to put a plan together. No problem, right?
Sometimes, I feel overflowing with creative energy. I’m driven to make something, anything. My writing calls to me, sweetly, begging me to sit down and pour out the words.
Other times, I feel like I’m looking into a dark, dry well. I send my bucket down, hoping for a few drops of creativity to soothe my parched spirit, but there’s nothing to be had.
What drains the well, and what fills it back up again?
I don’t have the whole answer for you, but it’s at least partly a matter of the balance between play and focus. Sometimes, when we’re working on a big creative task, we get so focused on getting it done, we forget to enjoy ourselves, to play around with it. That lack of play drains our spirit, leaving us feeling barren. On the other hand, when we allow ourselves room to play, even if it’s not with the project at hand, we refill that well.
Lately, I’ve been struggling to find the enthusiasm I need to keep going on several goals, especially my novel-in-progress. We’ve had a couple of big upsets in the family. I think that’s thrown me off. But more than that, I think I’ve been too intent on just getting my goals done. I’ve forgotten why I set the goals in the first place and the joy with which I first embraced them. That lack of just plain fun has sapped my creativity.
Lately, I’ve been wrestling with a lack of motivation. Only, it’s not so much a lack of motivation in the strictest sense. I want to achieve the goals I’ve set. I’m willing to take the steps necessary. What I’m lacking is enthusiasm. Every step I take on the path to my goal has lately felt like just another thing to tick off my list.
So, is that a lack of motivation? A sign that I just need to keep plugging along until my enthusiasm picks up again? Or do I need some time off to replenish my creative energy?
It’s not really my ROW I’m searching for, it’s my motivation. It snuck out in the middle of the night. Probably to party. I expected it to come slinking home just before dawn, shamefaced at abandoning me and ready to get back to work. Alas, my motivation has stayed away.
I keep standing in motivation’s yard, calling up and getting no response.
Those of you who’ve been visiting me here for a little while might have guessed I really dig the cello. It’s a sound that crawls right into your bones and echoes through your blood.
As a beginning cellist and music lover, I find inspiration in a variety of musical places. Today, I offer you one of my favorites, Brooklyn Duo playing a cello and piano cover of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters:
You ever have those moments where you wonder what the heck you’re doing, if your efforts are worth the time, or you’re just going to end up looking stupid?
It could be you’re learning something new, gearing up to talk to someone new, gathering the courage to speak out for what you believe in, or prepping to do something you don’t usually do. And, boom, you’re seized with doubts. Assuming those doubts are just good old-fashioned irrational fear and not some inkling of the potential for serious and unreasonable harm in your actions, I say check out the chicken below:
Now, folks keep calling this chicken (let’s call her Francine…because I like the name Francine) stupid. But who, with very little effort, walks away with not one but two portable snacks? The other chickens just keep pecking aimlessly, but Francine gets her food to go so she can go on being awesome.
Stupid? I think not. 😉
Note: No ROW80 check in today. I’ll update on Sunday. I hope all your ROW80 goals are moving right along!
How do you talk yourself out of the fear of feeling stupid?