That thing you had before Games of Thrones murdered it.
When you’re a creator, staying motivated can be challenging.
Us creators often wonder why we do this while out friends are out doing serious & “important” stuff.
Well, first of all…fuck those friends. If they make you feel this way, then they aren’t really friends. They are just people you hang out with. And it’s time for them to become people you used to hang out with.
But Gary, you can’t talk like that about my friends! They’re my buddies! My BFFs! Plus, they support me emotionally!
Fine. If it’s not your friends making you feel this way, then there is only one person left to place the blame on.
So, if YOU are to blame for your lack of motivation, then we need to change the way YOU approach creativity! Let’s get started…
How to keep faith in your work
First off, the arts have been around for centuries, and they are truly the oldest jobs in the world. They are important.
And please, don’t come at me with your basic counterarguments:
Oh yeah, they are important? You mean having a toilet exhibited in a museum is noteworthy?
Well, no matter how stupid a toilet as art may seem to you, the simple fact that you are aware of it and I mention it here proves one thing: the artist left a mark. Or perhaps in the case of this toilet example—a stain…
My point is this: form doesn’t matter. FUNCTION MATTERS.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the arts are more important than other types of jobs. Well actually, I am. Sorry. With the exception of people who invent cures for debilitating illnesses, most jobs don’t change humanity. If you’re one of those people, kudos to you. Keep up the good work. And stop reading this…you have far more important things to do! But the arts are fundamental in a sense that they are part of the defining element of being human.
Us humans are, after all, only animals. And as animals, we are driven by two instincts: survival and reproduction.
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s hilarious.
Think about it: everything you do is fundamentally driven by animal pulsions. I can hear you now:
No, Gary, we are way more refined than animals!
Sure, the way we express these pulsions, the form we give to the function, might be more evolved. But at the end of the day:
- We want to make money – Guess what…this is our way of attracting the best potential mate by showing that we can provide for a family.
- We want to be fun to be around with – Why? To eventually mate with the best potential partner.
- We want to look beautiful – Again, we want to be attractive to possible partners. I can already hear some of you yelling at me for saying this. How dare you, Gary? I want to look nice for myself! To feel good about myself! I don’t care what other people think! If you actually think that, please comment, and we’ll have a debate. After all, narcissism can’t exist without someone to watch (in this case, you).
- We crave food (especially me) – Food makes us feel good. And why is this? Dopamine release. Nature’s way of telling you that you need it for survival. Although nowadays, we have come up with so many shitty edible products that nature’s ways and actual health benefits can contradict each other. Sorry, nature!
- We try to save money…sometimes – Survival in a capitalistic society requires CASH. Damn, I miss the days where you simply had to give away one of your children to the neighbors to get a new cow to milk!
- We worship gods – One God for each religion as I understand it, as believers of different religions seem to think they believe in the right one. And why do we believe in deities? Because we are afraid of death, i.e., the drive for survival. But let me tell you this: I’m working on creating a religion that will reconcile everyone. It will be released soon. Wanna join the beta version of my upcoming religion? Subscribe to my newsletter!
Perhaps what makes us different from other animals is our awareness of our own mortality. Hence our need for drugs, antidepressants, beliefs, etc. This awareness, though, also led to one of man’s greatest inventions: art.
We paint, draw, and write to leave a mark. We want to achieve immortality. We want to transcend our finite lives.
If you think about it, our condition is pretty sad. We are given about 81 years on average for women and 76 years for men. Think about it for a minute: I’m 31, so it means I’ve reached about 40% of my life…
Damn. That hurts.
That being said, here’s the big lesson on motivation:
You’re doing this because you want to leave a dent.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re renowned. It will all be over pretty soon anyway. What matters is that you’ll be leaving something of yourself behind. Even if no one reads, watches, or is aware of it. Your creativity will keep you alive.
Don’t pass your time on this planet in incognito mode. Leave that to God-unapproved websites (Does my blog qualify?).
If that doesn’t get you going, then nothing will. Maybe you’re fine with leaving no mark. Perhaps you believe that things will be better in the afterlife, so there’s no need to break a sweat in this one. So be it. I’ll leave you with your bet at the casino of life. As long as people believe they can win at the casino’s games, casinos will exist. But what would you say to your friend who decides to drop out of college to become a professional gambler? Like any reasonable being, you would say:
Bet on 13, and you should be fine!
Anyways, send me a postcard when you get there. I’ll frame it. Here’s the last one I got:
So, if you’re feeling down, remember: the clock is ticking! Every second you hesitate is one second less that you have to doodle your name into the bathroom door of human history.
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Also published on Medium.