Motivational sinkholes and (in)human nature
I get tired and bored with my game by talking too much about it.
Have you ever heard of Motivational Sinkholes?
Those experiences you come across that, for some internal reason, completely drain your desire to continue work on your beloved project and leave you discouraged and demotivated.
These triggers naturally vary from one individual to another, but luckily, there’s a way to tackle them. You see, by simply identifying and becoming aware of your motivational sinkholes you will (obviously) become much better at avoiding them and they will, interestingly, have far less impact on you when you experience them.
To be clear, I’m not talking about how to get motivated. I’m talking about how to avoid being demotivated when you are otherwise doing just fine and have no reason to become demotivated.
My own motivational sinkholes are primarily related to the stuff I read and watch online, to me being slightly envious, lightly impatient and just talking too much. To exemplify, let me outline a few of my sinkholes - in no particular order.
Visiting forums and communities
Yes, forums are indeed great places for knowledge sharing and community building. But they are also places where random people advice other random people to not do this or that, including pursuing silly and wishful ideas such as becoming successful solo game developers. In a weak moment, getting a dose of the "been there, done that, didn't work" attitude of others and reading things of that nature leaves me mentally free falling toward the bottom of a dark and wet sinkhole.
Comparing myself to others and their much too cool games
Now and then when I come across exceptionally cool looking games from fellow solo developers, I suddenly find myself sliding downwards toward the deadly spikes at the bottom of a stinky sinkhole. Of course, I’m very happy on their behalf and, of course, I envy them very much too - in a healthy, friendly, perhaps slightly competitive way. :)
It gives me the depressing feeling that my game isn't good enough, that it won't matter and won't get noticed in a crowded games market where it seems everyone can throw together a cool looking game in 2 hours and post a YouTube video about it too ... ah, felt great to get that out of my system :)
Talking too much about my game
I’m passionate about my games and my modest business. So, often when asked about them, I talk too long and get into way too many tiny, itty-bitty technical details. I keep talking and talking to the point where I turn into a word-tsunami.
I have found this does two things to me. 1) It drains some of "the magic” from my game. I actually get tired and bored with my own game by talking too much about it. I lose some of the interest. 2) It throws me headfirst into a massive, gaping, bottomless sinkhole.
I have other motivational sinkholes, many of which are related to the above. Yours will be different. By being conscious of them, I’m able to flip the script and avoid most - to stop and change whatever I’m doing before I slip off the edge and join the bone pile at the bottom of a rotten sinkhole.
Of course it still sometimes happen I get demotivated, but as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the impact of a motivational sinkhole seems to be somewhat reduced once it has been identified. You will not be as surprised when you fall into one and you will know what’s going on and why your motivation and inspiration begins to seep out.
Have a great day!