Readers ask: how to get creatively motivated?

Creative Something reader Ash recently wrote in to ask: “When I was younger I was very motivated (creatively). But ever since entering college I feel like my creativity has dwindled down. What can I do to get motivated again?

Losing creative motivation is a tough situation to be in, because it means that you are not only being uncreative, you are most likely being unproductive as well.

Unfortunately, whether you want to or not, you will lose your creative motivation at some point or another in your life. Losing your motivation to be creative is a natural process that actually helps our creativity by refueling it. However, being unmotivated can really hurt your relationships, your job, and even your education.

Getting your creative cogs to start turning again in your head isn’t as hard as you would think. Here are a few things you can do to get creatively motivated once again, and back on the road to productivity.

Create rewards for yourself. One of the best motivators is a reward. The next time you feel creatively un-motivated, write down a few things you want on a piece of paper, then pick one randomly. If you finish a project you’ve been needing to do, or come up with a great idea, give yourself the reward. There is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself a little here and there. Just make sure you can really afford to do so before you dive in.

Visualize where you want to be. Seeing a final product can make the process of getting to the finished product seem a lot easier. Mock up some samples of what you want the finished product of your project to look like and hang them on your wall or tape them onto your computer screen. Not only will throwing together mockups motivate you, it will also get you that much closer to finishing whatever it is you are working on.

Compete. Setup a contest with a friend or co-worker to come up with the next best idea, or complete a specific project faster. Have a small reward setup for the winner as well. Competing (in a friendly manner) will motivate you instantly and effortlessly.

Convince yourself you are motivated. Self affirmations about being motivated are bound to work, right? Simply tell yourself every day “I am motivated.” Write it down and hang it up on a wall somewhere you will always see it. Say it over and over again. Have your friends and family remind you of it every day as well.

Start small. You may want to be creative to finish a big project at work or school, or you may want just a little creative motivation to get started on a new idea, either way: it can be daunting to get started. So, force yourself to start on a small aspect. If you have a lot of homework to do, just answer two problems then take a five minute break. If you have to come up with a new idea, write down a few aspects you would like to be included in that idea then take a break. Get started, you may find out that you were already motivated, it just took a little push.

Being unmotivated can be difficult to get over, but try out these few techniques and you may find yourself extremely motivated. And if you know of any other, great motivational practices, post them in the comments.

If you have a question about anything related to creativity, contact me and it may be featured in a future post.