I'm reposting this more for myself than anybody else. Had a sobering conversation with my mum last night. Forced me to realise that life ain't easy that that I need to take responsibility for my own life. That I need to take my balls and guts in my hands and proceed on the path that I’ve set for myself. No half measures.

Go here for the full thread which contains more motivating material

I've found that most of my problems facing the drawing board and gettingmotivated boil down to a form of anxiety. For me, procrastination isall about anxiety. When you're a kid writing and drawing your ownstories for your own pleasure, there was little or no anxietyassociated with the work. The work was all about pleasure, whether thatwas the pleasure of creation, or communication or catharsis.

Oneday, you wake up and you're a professional. And after awhile, your worktakes on whole new mental associations. Now, writing and drawing isn'tjust something you sit in your room and do for fun or expression, it'salso about survival. If you don't make that deadline, you don't getpaid. If you don't get paid, you don't eat. there's no roof over yourhead. Maybe you've got kids and they don't get fed. Maybe when you dowrite or draw, you get a bad review. Eek. Just what you need when youface the day. Whatever some critic said about you to get you motivated.

It's no wonder pros get writer's block. A blank piece of paper is no longer a ticket to the far corners of the universe, it's a ticket to the hellyou are going to face when you don't get the damned assignment in ontime and if it isn't jolly well perfectly wonderful.

You beginto engage in all kinds of useless work avoidance activity like hangingout with friends when you know you should be finishing that story, orspending too much time online, or doing busy work (which is a weirdhabit of mine where I just engage in mindless repetitive tasks. Youshould catch me in such a mood if I ever come to visit your house. Iwill arrange your sock drawer and all your files. Your closets willnever have been so clean.)

Anyway, a sure fire cure for all ofthis wonky neurosis is a behavioural modification technique I usecalled The Dickens Model. The Dickens Model takes the technique used bythe ghosts in A Christmas Carol and applies it to your life.

Firstoff, you focus on whatever the heck it is you are doing with your liferight now, and imagine that you have not made any moves to improve thequality of your behaviours. Then, imagine yourself five years in thefuture. You didn't make the moves you should have made. You didn'twrite the books. You didn't paint the pictures. Picture in your mind'seye with absolute clarity the life you have made for yourself and whatit will look like in five years.

OK, now forward that pictureten years. Get a load of what you have given yourself. Ten years ofwaste and lost opportunity. You have freelancer ass and you didn't evenwrite any books while getting it.

Move forward again to fifteenyears. If you're not wailing in horror by now, you're not givingyourself enough credit for what a screw up you can be.

Now hold on to that picture, and reel yourself back to the present. There. Feel like shit?

Good. It's working.

OK,now imagine all of the things you should be doing, studying,completing. Imagine all of the things you will have to do to get theresults you want. Picture them very clearly. And reel that movie inyour head forward about five years. Looks a little better, doesn't it?You finished that book, you painted that picture, the graphic novel gotpublished.

OK, reel yourself forward again and it's ten years inthe future. You applied for that Xeric Grant and you got the projectdone. You are writing and drawing with confidence and power. You aredisciplined and goal oriented.

Add another few years to that,it's fifteen years in the future, and picture your life compared to theone you envisioned before, the one where you did not change yourbehaviours. Quite a contrast, eh?

If this doesn't get youmotivated, nothing will, because the contrast between vision A andVision B usually scares the crap out of me. The point is to create yourown carrot/stick system in your head. You know what you are capable of,and you know what you have to do. You create your own reward andpunishment for your future and you know that you have the power tochange what needs to be changed.

That said, I am off to work. Try it. I hope The Dickens Model works for you



March 2015

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