It’s no secret that the creative process can be tough. Whether you’re trying to write a novel, paint a masterpiece, or compose a symphony, the journey from blank page to finished product is rarely smooth or easy.
There will be days (or even months) when you’re struggling to find motivation and inspiration. There will be times when the Muse seems to have deserted you and all your creative endeavors feel like a monumental slog.
You’ve probably experienced this in the past or you may be experiencing this now.
The good news is that there are practical steps you can take to Ignite Your Creative Motivation and Maintain It.
This is the first video in a series of videos that is going to give you practical tools to stoke that ember of motivation into a raging inferno.
So if you’re feeling stuck, uninspired, or just plain fed up with your current creative progress, watch on for the first tip on how to ignite your creative motivation and keep it.
You’re Not Alone
Before I get into the video I would like you to understand that you’re not alone!
Every artist, I think everyone on the planet, loses their motivation at some point in their lives. I have friends that haven’t done art for weeks, months or even years.
There have been many days in my life where I haven’t felt like creating at all. At one point in my life I had a 5 year slump where I didn’t do any art at all.
So please understand that we’ve all been there, we’ve all felt it and you’re not alone. The struggle to get motivated is universal.
Why should you listen to me?
I’ve spent the last 9+ years working on practical strategies to keep my motivation strong.
More than 9 years ago when I started over from my 5 year slump I made a commitment to myself to do art every single day for the rest of my life. The tools I use daily have kept me doing art every single day for almost 10 years!
Plus, I’ve logged all those days on chrisbeaven.com so you can benefit from my struggles and triumphs. If you go to my website you will see over 3500 days of me building practical strategies to help you ignite your creative motivation and maintain it.
Let’s get into the first of those practical tools!
See my daily art log!
Setting a minimum
When you’re unmotivated, the last thing you want to do is set big goals. Without motivation just getting started is hard but with a big goal staring you in the face it seems impossible.
Also if you have this huge standard you’ve set for yourself then the whirlwind of life throws you a curve ball it’s going to be easier to give up than keep going.
Instead lets focus on longevity. Making progress over the long term. Like the rest of your life. Let’s move away from the huge goals and put a strategy in place that will help you get started when you’re unmotivated and keep you going when life throws you an uppercut to the chin.
The strategy here is to set a repeating standard that feels easy to you. So easy that you say “I can do that no problem”. Let’s call this your “minimum”.
For example my minimum for the past 9+ years has been 30 minutes of art every single day for the rest of my life. I created this minimum because I’m able to accomplish it with any situation.
If I don’t feel like doing any art today?
30 minute sketch of whatever you want.
Maybe I’m up early at 3am and on a plane for the rest of the day?
30 minute drawing on the plane.
Or I’m feeling ill?
30 minute sketch in bed.
Or the day I was in the hospital for a kidney transplant?
30 minute sketch in the hospital bed.
The minimum you set is not about completing masterpieces or anything you want to sell or hang on the wall. It’s all about establishing the HABIT. Having good habits is THE most important thing you can ever do.
100 102 Ideas for Daily Art Minimums
Never waste precious art time thinking of what to do next.
Be prepared for any day!
All of the best teachers on habit out there echo the same wisdom. Look at James Clear and his book Atomic Habits. BJ Fogg and his book Tiny Habits. Charles Duhig the power of habit. Stephen Guise Mini Habits for weight loss. I have a huge list of habit books for you to read here.
Here is how setting a minimum works.
Think of the hardest or worst days of your life.
Set a minimum that you can accomplish even on your worst day.
Complete your minimum daily.
Celebrate your “small win” every single day!
Log your small wins on a calendar. Keep it simple.
Compound your small wins every day for tons of feel good motivation.
When you’re feeling uninspired or demotivated, it can be tempting to just give up and do nothing. But if you set a minimum goal – even a few minutes a day – you’ll often find that once you get started, it’s not nearly as tough as you thought it would be.
Plus, once you’ve achieved your minimum goal, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve accomplished something, which is a powerful motivator.
By setting daily minimums for yourself and celebrating each and every small win, no matter how small you’ll give yourself a lot more to feel good about – and a lot more motivation to keep going.
This is the essence of the game. Get started and keep going. With minimums it’s easy to get started and on those super bad days it’s a lot easier to keep going.
I hope that helps you to establish an unbeatable art habit regardless of what life throws at you. Like and subscribe for the next parts in this series so you don’t miss them. The next one I’m going to give you some practical tools for finding your Big Why, your Creative Purpose, your reason to keep going. Don’t miss that one because it’s probably the most important in this series.
If you like the video, show the love! Links below, like subscribe, and I’ll see you next time!