How does a person motivate themselves to keep working when there is no guarantee of compensation or reward? I’m a creator. I write and I illustrate. Primarily on projects I own and that are self funded. In this situation you are your own boss, and often your primary cheerleader. There needs to be a drive , even a love of sorts for the work.
To aid myself in this I will take stock of what I’ve accomplished and truly look at it in perspective.
I have a day job to pay my bills. Fifty hours of each week on average is given to this day job. Leaving me nights and weekends to do my work. I keep this truth in mind as I consider my accomplishments.
In the last four months I’ve fully outlined, and written 49,000 words a new novel, pencilled 30 pages of Chapel:Honor #2, inked, refined, or retouched inks on about 10 pages, and redrawn the cover of my graphic novel Fifteen Minutes, drawn about ten sketch commissions, and completed pencils on four new original prints. I also had the privilege to help my brother Willis outline his new project, and I’ve been working with Tracie to get herself positioned to go full time as a nail tech after school. Some could say I’m bragging, or just trying to make myself feel good. That’s the point. I’m motivating myself through acknowledging the momentum I’ve accomplished and decisively choosing to continue.
If you are like me, pushing yourself towards a career goal, while holding down a day job and the responsibilities of life, try this when you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or start thinking about quitting.
You could also be like me and find yourself thinking that for everything you accomplish it never feels like enough.
For example, my graphic novel should’ve been completed years ago, literally. Chapel: Honor, should’ve been completed last year. Yet to focus on that would not prove beneficial to anyone.
No one will know the details of our individual circumstances, our prospective opportunity, or how we may have envisioned our potential success when we started out, more than we do. And to focus on what could’ve, should’ve, or would’ve been should circumstances had turned out differently is as ineffective as complaining that you’re not getting anywhere when you haven’t even started the car yet.
Acknowledge the bad, and focus on the good. Acknowledge the truth of your situation, and focus your efforts on the areas where you have true influence. We cannot change what has already happened, but we can make decisive decisions to motivate ourselves to move forward. One of the ways we can do that is to provide ourselves with an honest acknowledgment of the success that we have had. No matter how small, or minute. Celebrate that success, build upon it, and capture for yourself the momentum that will drive you towards seeing your dreams, that I’ve become goals, become reality.
Make IT Happen