Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BEDA 26: Inspiration, Motivation and Staying Busy.

Someone said this to me once in the comments, so I think I am going to comment on it today:

"You should make a blog post about how you keep yourself motivated, inspired and busy working all the time."

I am going to answer this question in three parts. :)

The easiest way to keep yourself inspired, really, is to surround yourself by inspiring people. I feel really fortunate to have incredibly talented friends, but it's not just a coincidence. I chose to associate with people who have obvious passions for the things they spend their time doing. A lot of my friends are musicians, but also I know photographers, writers, designers, actors - it's all a matter of who I've made the effort to keep in touch with over the years.
First off, however, there are plenty of ways to inspire yourself. Read books that make you want to write your own, listen to music that makes you want to figure out how to play your instrument better, watch television shows or movies that make you want to act, travel or learn to make movies yourself -- but! There will be dry spells in self-motivation, and that's where the friends come in. I have friends whose YouTube videos make me want to jump right up and start on one of my own. I have a friend who all I need to do is talk to her about writing for ten minutes and I start to get itchy fingers for working on something of my own. These kinds of people are so valuable to the typed of individuals who feel the need to create.
You also need to be perceptive to detail. Sometimes the smallest things will inspire me. A picture of a lovely town renews my desire to travel in an instant. An impressively phrased sentence in a book or script can inspire a whole story idea in my mind. The tiniest notion of something that may entertain a large group of people can become a most-viewed video. I see these kinds of ideas everywhere, and I guess that's what I would call inspiration.

This one is a little tougher. A person can have all the inspiration they want but never make the move to actually do the project, write the book, film the video, etc. I'm not really sure how to explain how to get motivation, because I kind of feel like I was born with it. But there are a few ways to keep other activities from detracting away from your motivation.
Don't let time-wasters destroy you. TV, Tumblr, going out and partying - whichever your poison is, find ways to enjoy these hobbies in moderation, or cut them out completely if you can't do that. I do all of the things I listed above, but I try to be pretty strict with myself about when those things are appropriate. I try to balance my day with a fitting amount of work and play.
The bottom line is that if you love your work, you wont need to feel the constant battle of wanting to do other things. Work isn't always fun, even if it is painting or writing or dancing, but the motivation is natural if you feel a calling for those things. I've been doing Internet stuff for fun long before it was making me any money. I was moderating forums amidst studying for tests in high school, I was building fanfiction communities during my lunch hour on the computers in the library in middle school, and so on and so forth to the degree that now, it still just feels like an extension of the things I've always loved to do. Some days, yes, it can be difficult to force myself to edit another video rather than staying in bed and finished Season 4 of Big Bang Theory, but when it comes right down to it, I could work at a fast food restaurant right now. And I don't. I make videos. So making videos doesn't seem so hard when I look at it that way.

Well, if you're inspired and motivated, being busy just comes naturally. It actually starts to freak me out and make me feel like I'm not accomplishing anything if my schedule starts to clear up, so my system for the last few years has just been this: If I feel like I am taking on the perfect number of projects at any given time, take on two more. Then I'll never have any time to spend lazing about and wondering if I'll ever need to get a real job. This IS a real job, one that keeps me far busier than I ever anticipated.

I know this stuff doesn't come as easily to everyone as it comes to me, but I think it's something everyone sort of needs to figure out on their own. You need to either figure out your passions and throw yourself into them, or, if you haven't quite found your passion yet? Try everything until something sticks. Once you know what you really want to accomplish in life, the rest follows.

And hey. If it makes you feel better (because I realize I kind of sound like a robot right now) in the past month I've clocked up 49 hours of gametime on Pokémon White. So we all slip up sometimes. xD

I want to ask a question for the comments section today -- Does inspiration and motivation come easily to you, or does it feel more like a constant battle?

Flights taken: 8
Pokémon team levels: 53-56


Anonymous said...

I've always found the motivation to do something with the inspiration I have a hard thing to come by, there are always so many other things to do. A couple of months ago a now friend of my got together a group of people on Your Pants for the purpose of starting a collab channel, and I've found that just talking to them and watching their videos motivates me not only to make videos but also to make each one better and better. Long story short: I find a lot of my motivation from the people around me.

Mascara+Lattes said...

I can find inspiration for some things easier than others. I have no trouble finding inspiration for the beauty blog I have, for example. However, I also do photography and it can be really hard to find inspiration that's different from what I've already done!
Motivation for things like writing papers and other classwork is extremely hard for me; I'm really easily distracted by things on the internet, wanting to watch TV or movies, maintaining my blog, etc.

Whitney said...

Just need to drop in to say how much I adore this post. You're spectacular, you really are. I'm so excited to get to know you better. :)
xx Whitney

SillyJaime said...

Inspiration: yes. I find it everywhere, in movies that I watch, in people that I see doing whatever it is they're doing, in songs I hear, and in myself.

Motivation: not so much. I can't even motivate myself to write a blog every day, which I LOVE doing, so doing the 10-30 minutes of exercise each day that my husband would like to see me do pretty much never happens.

But it is inspiring to learn that there's someone out there like you, who can motivate herself and keep herself busy. It actually motivates me right now to post PUBLISH on this comment and go and do the blasted crunches before I get into doing something else.

slinkyT1991 said...

Motivation and Inspiration come easy to me sometimes but others not so much.

I was wondering when you were in college/and now. Do you no what you want to do if you don't make videos for the rest of your life? Like I'm having a problem because i graduated and i'm just stuck like i don't no what I want to do and I was just wondering if you has some advice on how to get me unstuck. Like I love making videos and yeah i can do that now but when i get older for a career I'm not sure what i want and honestly no i don't think I'm ever gonna no. Do you no? And how did you find out.

I hope this kinda makes sense I'm not really sure how to describe it.

Will Davison said...

I am really easily inspired by stuff, but I always forget to make note of good ideas and they tend to drift off before I can make use of them. Motivation is a bit different, I usually lack the effort to do what needs to be done. However, I have been getting better and prioritizing a bit more lately.

Char Dizzle said...

Inspiration comes easily to me, but sadly motivation does not. I'll get these really good ideas, and then I'll get distracted and totally forget about them. Or when I really want to do something, I just don't make the time to do it. So it's something I have to work on. Like right now I should be figuring out how I'm going to finish my new video but instead I'm cycling through Tumblr, Twitter, Dailybooth and Youtube. Frustration with myself.

Jennifer Sargent said...

Inspiration, easy...that's my problem. Motivation, a bit harder. Staying Busy, too easy, most times I'm too busy to even get through my projects.
For me it's a bit more difficult since I have a desk job that I need to pay the bills. If I did not have to spend 34 hours a day there, I would spend that time making videos. That's my passion and has been ever since I was little. After film school I quickly discovered that Hollywood was not for me and the internet was. I'm not yet a YouTube partner, but I hope one day do be. If I had your job, Kristina, I would be so excited to be making videos full time that the 'motivation' part would get a lot easier. I won't give up though. Your success is part of my inspiration and motivation. ;)

nerdgirl1990 said...

My exams start in two weeks and I haven't even begun to revise for them. So no, motivation doesn't come easily to me.

Anonymous said...

I tried to write this without the self pity but nothing but a pitiful pile of punctuation remained so here goes:

I have no job, no friends, and nobody to do anything or fill my time with. WHAT DO I DO. This town is soulless and dead and like a cancer in my heart and I want nothing more than to leave and never look back but I can’t until October. I hate my life here. That isn’t dramatic exaggeration but the candid, unvarnished reality. II want to drug myself and not wake up for a year.

Sorry. I just really struggle with it sometimes. Poor little white middle class girl. Your problems are so serious. Why don’t you just suck it up. But I can’t, and I hate myself for it.

CeliaAnn said...

Kristina, you're amazing. I feel bad for avoiding your blog all month, but you just make me feel lazy and lame with all your inspiringly busy excitement :p This post was fantastic--just like all the others have been, i'm sure--and really relevent to how I feel and what I want to improve on. I feel inspired to do so much, and motivated, I just don't do a lot of it, and I should. I should start right now. Motivation! You've motivated me.
I'm going to go write. :)

Jaime said...

I am motivated to do the things I love like write and a read, but sometimes I find myself being lazy about it. I am absolutely not motivated to do my school work though. God, I just hate it! It's pretty easy to get lost in my writing once I start, but the struggle to stay motivated with my school work only gets harder the longer I do it!

As for inspiration, I do find it rather easily. I often think of a single phrase or a character trait or an idea, and even if I don't have time to let my brain develop it into a full story or poem or whatever, I just write it down and go back to it later. I have pages full of snipits like that!

Anonymous said...

When it comes to being creative, I get inspired quite easily. But motivation proves to be difficult, especially now with my senior year of high school coming to a close, so I'm busy with summer job applications, scholarship applications, cleaning up my room of things I don't want, ect. And then I just tire myself out with drama rehearsals, dance classes, choir practices, homework, so when the day is done, I just want to go sit and watch TV, then sleep.

So, inspiration= easy. Motivation to work with that inspiration= hard with being busy.

But I really love your advice Kristina.

kittygurl212 said...

Inspiration comes to me all the time...at the most inconvenient times possible. I think of an amazing idea for a story...at 1am in the morning while I'm trying to sleep. I'm inspired to finally work on that paper...at the beginning of my shift waiting tables on a busy Friday night.

Motivation depends on the activity. Like there are classes in school that I really enjoy and want to do well in so I do the work. And then there are classes (like my current Econ class) that I despise with all my being and don't want to have anything to do with since I'm going to fail anyways. So yeah, it depends :-)

Newt said...

[I was moderating forums amidst studying for tests in high school, I was building fanfiction communities during my lunch hour on the computers in the library in middle school, ]

For some reason, I absolutely love this excerpt. It could just be because I moderate for my share of forums and it gives me yet another reason to relate to you, but I don't really care. I'll just smile a little more at it.

I can't, however, relate to your inspiration and motivation situation. Sure, I've won NaNoWriMo (and edited the piece for the free copy), and I wrote a novel between 4th and 7th grade, but it feels like I hardly ever feel inspired. And when I do feel inspired, I'm too scared to start something new because of all the other projects I'm doing, or I'm simply not motivated.

Speaking of, I need to go write my own blog post. XD

TheGingerHermione said...

Constant battle all the way. I love the feeling of finishing something, but during the making I'm just sooo lazyyy, no matter how much I enjoy something!

TheGingerHermione said...

Constant battle all the way. I love the feeling of finishing something, but during the making I'm just sooo lazyyy, no matter how much I enjoy something!

Elizabeth Haebig said...

Oh it's on and of for me. I'm often inspired but hardly motivated and other times I'm motivated but not inspired... It's confusing!

Reina said...

At this point in my life, I'm a senior in high school, ready to graduate, so yes, motivation is a constant battle for me. I mean right now I'm typing this on my phone while watching Glee when I should be writing my English essay. I hope things change for me in college, and I think things will once I don't have the distractions of TV, Wii and whatever else, and when I have places like the university library to help me focus. Your advice is really great, I just think my main problem is procrastination and actually taking the first step in starting a project. Thanks!

Alloquy said...

Inspiration is generally a fairly easy thing to come by, because I know the types of things that inspire me. Motivation, however, is my enemy. Right now I channel all my motivation towards getting school work done, and by the time I'm finished the last thing I want to do is write my book.

Joe said...

Thankyou so much for this post...having the ability to be your own boss, and keep motivated, is truly a gift. This was a really well written post that I hope helps and inspires others (it certainly does inspire me). But I think that's the point of your psot...by 'following' people like you who are creative..it feeds me creatively and gives me inspiration. It definitely doesn't come naturally to me. Motivation is a bit easier...I almost think that finding a hobby that you can call a job is the secret of life. Thanks for a great post, and for contributing all that you do! The net and youtube are better off thanks to people like you :)

Una said...

I feel the same way as you do about being busy. When I'm not doing something I feel so lost, what am I supposed to do with all that time?! I find that my motivation and inspiration for things varies greatly from activity to activity. When it comes to sports I have a seemingly never ending stream of inspiration and motivation. Creative things I find I have a lot of inspiration for but not a lot of motivation for. Creative projects always seem to rank below sports and school and then they simply don't get done. However at the end of the day, I love being busy

Manar said...

Inspiration strikes me pretty regularly, but motivation's a lot harder for me to come by. There are just so many pretty distractions on the internet... xD

But whenever I actually manage to start a project, I become both immersed and obsessed. It's getting started that's the hard part.

Kermit_2.0 said...

I find motivation for some stuff like charity work, photography and silly little things like painting my nails. But for things like writing assignments I am TERRIBLE. In fact I am meant to be writing an assignment on childhood cancer right now (cheery topic, I know) but instead I am reading your blog, which is definitely worth the time but not at this moment in time. Inspiration I can find in lots of people, my dad, boyfriend, best friends, local people and stuff like sunsets. Its just hard finding the difference between stuff I could be really passionate about if I just give it a chance and the stuff I just have to do in order to get to the fun. *sigh* back to my ever-so exciting assignment.

Hege said...

Lately, it's been a struggle, a real battle, but I'm not giving up. I try every day to get myself inspired, even tho I end up in bed tired. I rise the next day with a smile on face, and ready to face the battle yet again. Some good must come eventually? right? : )

Lauren said...

I am a HUGE procrastinator, which is terrible. I'm at least glad that I've established it as a problem, and thankfully a few months ago Rosianna tweeted about that really helpful computer app "SelfControl". Ever since I downloaded it, I've been a lot better, but it's still something I'm working on.

Eva said...

For me, inspiration comes pretty naturally. The only problem is my motivation. I have so many things that I want to do, but somehow I always find myself thinking that I will never be able to accomplish what I dream of. Even though people tell me that I'm good at something, I have a hard time believing in myself. And that's my biggest problem, I feel like I can't do something that I would love to do, so I just give up before even trying.

kira902k said...

*sigh* As much as you try to explain it, your motivation still sounds magical to me.
I guess it's cause I'm in high school? I'm sure I'll grow out of it. Hopefully. =S What if I end up one of those people who forever puts everything off and ends up screwed over or bored to death?

See, I understood your explanation for staying motivated. And I HAVE felt that way: I've been inspired to write books from a single sentence, or from conversations with friends. I've had ideas for videos and projects and everything.
And then...I just don't do them.

I blame homework and school activities...but honestly, with all the time I spend avoiding those, I could do so many creative projects.

See, even now I procrastinated from writing this COMMENT by watching a few videos on youtube.
The second I feel like I HAVE to do something, I immediately avoid it at all costs, even when it's something I ENJOY doing, like finishing a freaking comment.

So yeah.
I wish I could be you.

The end.

Christina said...

For me, being busy and staying motivated are very connected. As long as I'm busy and my schedule is full, I don't have any trouble staying motivated and taking on more projects. Once I spend even a day just lying around the apartment, doing nothing, and watching tv- I lose my stride and it's really hard to get back to work. What I'm trying to work on is being able to take little breaks (to maintain my sanity) and then being able to pick up where I left off motivation-wise. It's difficult!

Nyckeija R said...

Inspiration - always.
Motivation - never.

I get the inspiration, but am unable to adequately turn it into things that I think reflect what I want it to.
And also I'm very lazy.

Jennerbees said...

Awesome post, Kristina! I found it both inspiring AND motivating. :D Being busy comes the easiest to me. :-P I enjoy being busy, though, and I work better that way. Inspiration you can find almost anywhere, you're completely correct! Following through is definitely the hard part. Finding motivation can be tough some days but I am usually applauded for it so I guess I have that pretty much down.

Soooo.... yeah. YAAYY, BEDA!

alimarie_11 said...

Motivation is a constant battle for me. I often feel like things aren't worth my time, like easy classes, (I'm a senior in high school) or I feel that I make up certain criteria that must be met in order for me to focus on something, and that criteria may be usually impossible. For instances I may think that in order to concentrate on my paper I am writing everything must be perfetly quiet, my desk must be clear, I must feel physically comfertable,and I must not have any other stress about things I need to be doing.

I feel like I may unintentionally set up this unmeetable circumstances in order to have an excuse for procrastination. :\

But I must say your constant cheeriness about staying busy really inspires me and motivates me to work for your kind of happiness that always seems to shine from you. :D

owlinalarkworld said...

Motivation isn't a massive problem if I love what I'm doing - like Classical Studies.

For things like Media Studies it is a battle I lose.

For things I am passionate about like 40 hour Famine procrastination gets in the way but I get it done.