Especially in a job that relies on both creative ideas and crafting long texts, I find it hard to motivate myself sometimes to just sit down and do the work. And sometimes I encounter times, when I just don’t feel motivated for a couple of days or even weeks to focus and start writing. I talked to my husband about it and he told me that he envisioned motivation not something that you have to look for and that motivation is not something that happens when you just try hard enough, but motivation is instead a good friend, although she can be a bit of a diva sometimes, who comes visiting whenever she feels invited. So instead of forcing yourself to find motivation, focus on creating an inviting space for her:
The motivation hates chaos. So unclutter your desk first, get rid of everything that disturbs you (and her). In fact, she is kind of a narcissist diva, who likes to hang around Instagram all day, so make your space beautiful and enjoyable.
The motivation doesn’t like to do the talking when she is there. Remember, she is the motivation, but not an expert on the subject that you are working on. So prepare some notes and put down the topics you need to work on.
She’s a bit like the genius that Elizabeth Gilbert described in her Ted Talk – a creative spirit that is not part of the human, but comes to help you. A genius is not something that you are, but something that you have. So invite your genius to come to you and help you doing your work.
Of course, we know that pushing harder does not give you more ideas, but once your brain relaxes, the ideas start flowing – in the shower, when going for a walk, or during a movie. However, you have to feed your brain first. I remember a story in a small book about creativity, that my Creative Director at SapientNitro handed to me one day. Sherlock Holmes and Watson are working on a very difficult case, they are laying out all the evidence, all the interview data, everything that they collected. And then, when Watson expects them to start to dig deeper into the work, Sherlock says “Let’s go to the Opera!”. During the opera, Sherlock would suddenly have a brilliant idea, that helps them solving their case. This idea did not come completely out of the blue, but because he fed his brain with knowledge and data before, it was able to process along with the music and come up with an idea, as soon as it was relaxed.
All three stories bring it back to the same steps: be inviting to the motivation and your genius, unclutter, collect the data for your work, and relax – and hopefully the motivation will come to visit you. Have a great start to a (short) week!