23 September 2009

How to Stay Motivated

I am fortunate to have a steady job given many recent circumstances and events, and though I am appreciative of the steady paycheck and the means within which I am able to live, I have often found myself at home after the work day is over, thoroughly and completely non-eager to work at my painting, terrain builds, or other aspects of the hobby.

This can be frustrating on many levels, but perhaps the most keenly frustrating bit is the fact that I sometimes look at my bench and say to myself, "You need to get some work in on X, Y, Z, ... "

Perhaps this is the key to those stretches of time in which the hobby gets shoved aside.  The terminology used there: "You need to get some work in..."  This seems completely at odds with the reasons which enamored me to this pastime and can be a large obstacle towards my enjoyment thereof.

I remember that when I was in grade 7, or 8, when I first picked up 2nd Ed. Warhammer 40,000.  I was so totally and completely infatuated with the miniatures, the stories, the amazing photos of painted armies, and the sheer possibility presented to me with this new toy.  I say toy because that is how it was perceived by 12-13-year old me, but I soon realized that there was much more to this game than toy soldiers and dice.

I started painting and I loved it.  I think I must have spent whole weeks' worth of time crafting my incredibly cool and entirely non-competitive Ultramarine army, and soon my two best friends joined in with me, each of them grabbing hold of a Space Marine army (Blood Angels and counts-as Dark Angels), and we went to town.  Games lasted hours and frequently never got finished, mostly due to the fact that we only played once a month and because we had a Nintendo 64 sitting nearby singing its siren song...

At any rate, this bit of nostalgia is likely leaving some of you folks screaming "Pack it in, M.W.!!" so I'll address my main point now: things have changed and perhaps the most relevant of these changes is the fact that I can now afford most of the cool minis I want and have the time to paint them and play, but it has become more difficult to let go of all the responsibilities and worries that come with maturity (societal, physical, mental, etc.) and just give myself time to do my own thing and enjoy this admittedly silly little hobby.

Over the last two or three weeks, I've had to make some changes in my lifestyle and surroundings, as well as taking on a fairly-mundane-yet-occasionally-intensely-challenging project at work, and between an occasional sense of moderate depression and the daily feeling of "I'm finally done with work and now I will drink a beer and do nothing for a while," I've found my workbench becoming neglected.  I've got three hired guns and the NMI sitting on the desk, awaiting some simple painting work - not kitbashing, not cleaning, not sculpting but just plain old painting - and they've sat there mostly untouched for a week and a half.  What exactly is so terrible about this simple, formerly enjoyable task, you might wonder?  I cannot honestly tell you the reason I've been ignoring these items on my to-do list but I can guess that it stems from a problem with my approach towards the hobby of late.  The need to "Get Something Done" is overwhelming the idea of fun in my hobby and all it will take for me to get stuck in again is to simply look forward to the opportunity to paint rather than the responsibility of painting.

That said, I want to see if things will change once I take a new look at the bench, and hopefully that will mean some interesting new minis done up properly and some photos as proof of my triumph (such as it may be).  I do get a lot out of this little hobby of mine and I want that sense of accomplishment and achievement to be a more constant emotion.

Okay, that'll about do it for me tonight.  Thanks for the patience (I just need to start finishing each post with that from now on, eh?) and I'll be back soon.



  1. Great advice man. Hey, we all deal with some sort of depression now and again, it's all good! Anyway, think I will finally be able to sit down and get a good session of painting in.
    By the way, did you lot ever play any one-off battles??

  2. I got some more bad news this weekend, and now I am convinced that September is destined to be an absolutely SHITE month.

    Despite this, I got some work done this weekend and I'm pleased with the results I got for the roughly 4 hours I worked on the minis. I worked on the NMI's bases, three terrain pieces (sorry not the dice tower yet) and some theory work on the Enforcer/Merc squad I have in mind.

    Steph's coming round towards the end of the week for a quick game. I'll likely run the OI-FU against his Escher. Looking forward to it!


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