5 Ways to Stay Motivated in Your Creative Career

How to Stay Creatively MotivatedAs humans, we all struggle at times to stay excited about certain tasks at hand. We get bored; we get frustrated; we get distracted (ooh, cat gifs!) and our art suffers for it — we stop writing our novel, we stop writing our next song.

Sometimes you just have to stop and remember why you are doing it in the first place.

But seriously… we recently dug up an old article on Lifehack that reminded us of some simple ways to stay motivated. The article is mostly focused on general life motivation, but it can easily be applied to your creative career as well.

You can read the article in its entirety here, or check out our summary below.

How to keep your creative life fresh and active

1) Remember the reason(s) you’re doing it in the first place: A feeling of accomplishment?  Personal gain? Cold hard cash? One little step closer to your bigger goal?

2) Have fun: Ask yourself, “what can I do to make whatever it is I am doing more enjoyable for myself (and maybe others)?”

3) Take a different direction: there is likely more than one way to do whatever you are doing, so try approaching your task from a different angle. Ask yourself how other people do this same thing. Try it that way.

4) Baby steps: In order to not become overwhelmed by the larger task at hand, split tasks into smaller goals and celebrate each goal once you reach it. For example, if your goal is to write an entire album, set a goal of writing one song at a time, or just writing for one hour at a time, and celebrate when you’ve done it. You’ll be stoked that you reached your goal and be motivated to move onto song two (or hour two).

5) Reward yourself: once you’ve reached a goal, make sure you take time to reward yourself. Whether it’s something as simple as taking a break or buying yourself a lil’ sumpthin’ sumpthin’, it’s important to recognize progress to stay motivated.

So, there are 5 ways to stay motivated. Does one resonate with you more than the other? Do you think you’ll mix and match a few to keep inspired? Or maybe you have another idea for staying motivated – let us know in the comments below.

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10 comments to 5 Ways to Stay Motivated in Your Creative Career

  • I also think it’s important not to just sit and wait for creativity, or inspiration, to come. Give it a try even when you don’t “feel it”.

  • StevenCravisDotCom

    I’m glad you said this. Sometimes I thought I had to wait for months before I ‘feel it’ for writing music! Thank you, Thomas.

  • I’m glad you found it helpful. :) Cheers!

  • Rich Hutchings

    The reward system is always effective for me.

  • Lance King

    I try to just pick up the guitar once a day and mess with it, just about every time I do that, I come up with something that I record on my iphone fast, Then I’ll revisit later to see what is worth further development with fresh ears.

  • For me the reward is listening back to music i wrote/recorded and feeling good that i created something.

  • James B. McCarthy

    I have read a number of ways to break work down to create highest outcome.
    Two stand out.
    One is to vary the task every twenty minutes.
    Let’s say you are working on a song. You work on the overall structure for twenty, or that little hook that your muse offered but your fingers are trying to understand. Then you play it all the way through and improvise new lyrics.
    Another is to work for ninety mintues and take a nap or a rest.
    This works good too. REally go at it for awhile and then chill. When you do it the sense of accomplishment comes from two diirections. One from how much you did in that time. The other from the fact that you plugged away for a set period.

  • Another important point is being able to use the available resources as effectively as possible. One of the things that discourages artists is lack of what they consider to be the “perfect equipment/facilities” . If you don’t have the high-end guitar, mic, mixer or camera, just use what you already have. Don’t let perfectionism kill your enthusiasm and stop you from creating art or make you procrastinate your tasks for long periods of time.

  • Eistein

    Important words for our songwriting. Maybe we require more motivation to still in the business. Poor sales for our songs don´t help to continue?

  • ian at the flying vendettas

    when it is going really well – stop! you will then be in a mood to begin again as soon as you can

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