Motivation is simply the reason for an action. It is the why behind what you do.
So how are things going for you? Are things going well in your life or are there areas where you feel frustrated, confused or stuck?
This post marks the start of a new series on this blog, dealing with the issues surrounding motivation. In my experience talking to other artists, former students and wanna be artists, it seems clear that many people struggle to stay motivated. People buy new art supplies only to find that they never actually use them. Some buy books and then they never read them. Others take workshops and get very excited and determined, only to find that the enthusiam fades and their good intentions vanish. Does this sound like anything you have experienced? Maybe it is where you are right now. If so, I would like to help. You see quite some time ago...in my former life :-)...I was stuck too. I wasn't just stuck, I was discouraged. Perhaps you are there now. Perhaps you are underemployed, unemployed or you are in a job you really dislike. You have a desire for a different life but you just can't seem to make it happen. Maybe you are working as an artist but you are dissatisfied with your work habits. Maybe you feel undisciplined or perhaps you are confused about what to do next or you are stuck in some area - for example you know you need to get your work out there but you just don't seem to get around to doing anything about it. I could go on and on with scenarios but I think you get the idea. No matter what your issues are, I can tell you this: you can live a better life than the one you have now...you can move forward from a state of numbness, lack of energy, apathy and discouragement.
So where do we start? First of all you need to decide what you want. Then we can work on getting a strong enough why. You see you have to have a strong 'why' in order to have lasting motivation. Remember, motivation is simply the why behind what you do.
Do you know what you want? I ask you to take the next week to really think about what you want. Write your thoughts down to help you get clarity. Do you think what you want is impossible (because you don't have the skills, enough time, or money)? Don't focus on this. Do you think you want too many things? For example you want to be an oil painter too and you are interested in sculpture and you would like to try writing short stories. Don't worry about this either. Simply get as honest with yourself as you can.
Maybe you feel like you don't know what you want. I know this may be hard for some of you. Don't despair, take comfort in knowing that a lot of people don't feel like they know what they want. What sort of stuff do you have stashed away in your cupboards? What are the books about that you have you been collecting for years? Look around your life for clues. What is on your 'back burner'? You know, that 'thing' you always mean to do or try but the time is never quite right so it sits on the back burner...the good thing is that it is there, now imagine moving it to a front burner. Now that is exciting and just a wee bit scary...
So you have your homework assignment for the week. Good luck...and while my story of course isn't finished, I can tell you that once I changed my thinking, once I decided that I just might be able to do some of the things I dreamed of, my life changed dramatically. I became a motivated woman and I have remained that way. You can too, I have no doubt...