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The Balance Between Motivation and Creativity

There’s been something I’ve had to struggle with over the years: Creating for the sake of creating. You know, having to create stuff because you have to, not because you want to.

You might feel pressure to create because of any combination of reasons like

  • guilt
  • occupations
  • financial needs
  • routines

We all have to pay the bills and other financial responsibilities. For those of us who create for a living, it can become a grind. Quickly. Like anything, having to come up with ideas on a consistent basis can become difficult.

It all comes down to one major question: what’s our motivation?

What keeps you motivated?

It’s easy to stay motivated creating things that are our own ideas. But what about when need to create on a deadline? It’s really tough to stay motivated and excited about a project that we have to finish because of obligations.

I’ve talked before about the importance of a yearly review. During my yearly review I spend as much time as possible reflecting on the things I’ve accomplished. This helps me keep track of successes I’ve had over the past year, which helps shake me out of the doldrums.

I recently had a 6 month review to kind of realign and evaluate my yearly review, and again I spent time reflecting on what I’d accomplished. It was a powerful motivator.

The yearly review also helps give me a 10,000 foot view of my “plan”. Reflecting on the Big Picture helps during those times when you need a reminder of why you’re creating.

I’d imagine it’s a lot like changing diapers on a baby; while it’s not the most desirable task in the world, you won’t have to do it forever. And from what I’ve heard, the joy of having a child far outweighs things like dirty diapers.

The big picture helps keep us motivated while we tackle the smaller details. They’re small pieces of a much larger puzzle.

So what do you do to stay motivated every day? Is seeing the bigger picture enough of a motivator for you? This is mostly just me thinking out loud. I’d love to hear your thoughts.