Your Beleaguered Motivation
Like something that flies off the periphery, you thought you had your eyes on it, and now you don’t. It’s gone, vanished. It’s almost as if the thing was never there. If you think too much about it you will wonder if you even had it at all, its absence is that severe.
Now you’re stuck in a wicked, self-perpetuating loop of profitless productivity. Say that three times fast. That’s the least of it. What it’s doing to you emotionally is a chronicle in your life so monumental in scale, you can hardly express it in words. It’s borderline depression isn’t it? True, it has some of the same symptoms: depleted interest, feelings of hopelessness, guilt and self-hate, trouble concentrating or sleeping, and onward.
I always find it kind of funny saying you’ve lost something intangible. It’d be great if it was like misplacing something physical like your glasses or car keys, for example. Most often you know they’re not far from you. It’s extremely frustrating, but there’s this delicate string of hope to cling to. Even if it’s slightly subconscious, you know you’ll relocate them and life will go on.
The loss of an immaterial thing, though, is difficult to mentally process. You can’t hold it in your hands. It doesn’t appear across the room, on a counter or poking out, partially hidden from behind a cushion. It can never live in the realm of things concrete. It escapes your senses, trickily avoiding you as if it slipped on Tolkien’s precious ring. It’s an idea, a thought, an emotion, or intuition.
Losing your motivation is quite a horrid feeling. It’s almost like losing your purpose, if that’s possible. I’m trying not to over dramatize this. It’s how I feel when it happens to me, and I know how ordinary I am.
Creatives feel that impact strongly. It detonates against the very fibre of our being. Without that persistent urge to create, we falter. Our construct is weakened, our resolve muted. What we attempt to do in the midst of that loss is a joke. The only thing is no one is laughing.
I’m not trying to solve anything in writing about it. It’s cathartic to talk about it. If I were in a group therapy session I’d get a small applause from my equally wounded and suffering colleagues. Maybe even an uncomfortable hug afterward.
Where you have some modicum of hope I guess, is in knowing that creative bursts will find you. You’ll have no luck locating it, believe me I’ve tried. It’s a mythical beast you’ll spend a mental infinity searching for. But when you need it least or even most, it’ll appear. Some times that’ll save the day. And other times that day will lay in fiery ruins, never to be repaired.
Life is more than these moments. It’s a compilation of good and bad, never amounting to an equal measure of either. You’ll feel that pain often, unfortunately. But it’s also part of discovery and growth to lose one’s way. I’ve found roads to amazing inspiration after losing my way so awfully I imagined if I was even in the right profession.
Keep creating. Do something every day, even if it’s the worst thing you’ve ever done. Persistence is golden. Draw. Paint. Sculpt. Dance. Play. Love. It’s all glorious and necessary. Try doing something as often as you can. The more you create the less you’ll worry about the occasional loss of it.