I’m a firm believer that creative inspiration comes from getting to do work you find thrilling and challenging. It’s not something you can get in the absence of the work and it’s extremely challenging to stay motivated when you’re not able to tie the boring work you’re doing now to the thrilling work you’ll get to do later.
Some people use their friends to stay motivated, but this can be risky. The praise of others will do it for a while, but eventually everyone’s interest fades.
Being self-motivated isn’t as dry as it sounds, it simply means taking back control of the process and building in those good feelings into everything you do. I’ve worked my goals for almost a decade:
-become a writer (2008)
-self publish my own book (2009)
-film a documentary and screen it in theatres (2010)
-get a book deal with a top 5 publisher (2011)
-finish my book: 3-year project (2014)
-launch a food online magazine (2015)
-launch a print magazine (2017)
This is the place I start. Each item on this list holds a lot of meaning for me. I have BIG FEELINGS about those projects. It’s easy to look at my list and think, “oh book, oh documentary” but I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do.
For the documentary, I dreamed about traveling around the world and capturing beautiful footage of other cultures and dramatic landscapes, while interviewing travelers who worked online. I was going to be gritty journalist slash travel photographer and it was going to be epic.
Looking back at that project now, I didn’t quite meet my goals… my art and work always fall short of my aspirations. My book isn’t as good as I wanted. I wrote it and discovered I wasn’t able to push the words into the places I wanted them to go. I learned a lot about the process. I am happy with what I did. But in the dreaming phase, I am beyond optimistic. I dream BIG. I am deluded. I go for it. I think about an idealized version of my craft and consider it completely possible to create whatever I want.
I believe this is the best place to start, because even though I have always fallen short, I would have halved my creativity if I aimed for what was safe.
STANDING OUT AS A BLOGGER
Here’s a little secret though: I stumbled upon this method because it’s core to my personality type. However, aiming for big projects will help you stand out in a crowded blog market. It makes you a leader. It draws people to you. It’ll make the work of breaking out
What is your big, epic dream project? Write it out. Describe all the details: areas you’ll excel in creatively, how it will feel to work on it, doors it will open for you and so on.