It has been almost exactly six months since I last posted on here. I don’t really have an excuses for the hiatus, and it’s not just been this blog: I’ve been largely silent from most of the net for a while. It’s been a really strange winter for me, mentally and emotionally, and it was consuming a lot of my energy and thoughts. Rather than complain about it, though, I opted to simply not post at all. In hindsight, this was a dumb idea: writing has been a catharsis for me in the past, and I can’t help but feel it would have been beneficial to be posting to get my mind off things; also, the longer I went without posting, the more daunting it became to start posting again.
I’ve finally updated the blog (like the new design? If you want a refresher on what it looked like before, Critical Games is still using that theme), and am now posting again. I’d been meaning to for a while, but what motivated me to actually do it is that someone asked me to. It’s a thing for me: if I feel something I do will be appreciated, I am infinitely more likely to do it.
I was having a conversation with Jessica last night, where she asked me what motivates me, what would motivate me on the various projects I have sitting on the back burner. What it came down to is that I need to feel like I am valued. I am hardly what you would call a workaholic — I think work for the sake of work is stupid (this is a longstanding philosophy, as anyone who has heard my rant about homework can attest), so for me to feel motivated on a project, I need to feel that the work is valued in some fashion. (This takes many forms: it could be personal appreciation, it could be feeling that I’ve contributed to a greater goal or dialogue, it could be a tangible reward, it could be getting to enjoy the end result…)
I’d hardly say it’s the best motivator, though: you have to DO before it can be valued, and the point of motivation is that it gets you to DO. So feeling appreciated or valued as a motivator basically relies on momentum, continuing to feel the drive to act based on the result of the last time you did so. And if you have an extended period where you feel like you’re not valued, or you feel unappreciated… well, you’re dead in the water. Which is where I’ve been for a while: feeling economically and creatively unvalued. (Where I have felt valued is socially, I’ve felt appreciated as a friend, and that’s where my energy has flowed as a result.)
I’m going to aim to post more often (more than once every six months shouldn’t be too hard), but in the meantime: what motivates you? It’d be interesting to hear others’ insight and suggestions for motivators.