You know what I really wanted to do, today? Work on SignalLeaf. It’s not that it *needs* any work right now… it’s been running in auto-pilot for several months now, while I’ve had other more urgent things to take care of. But I *wanted* to work on SignalLeaf. And yet, I didn’t get too. There were too many other things that were more urgent.
Motivation Can Be Distraction
People talk about motivation all the time – myself included. We talk about how rare it is and how you should work your butt off when you find yourself motivated.
But this isn’t usually where I find myself, honestly.
I usually find find motivation for the thing that I’m not working on, instead. Frankly, it’s easier to be motivated to work on the thing that I’m not doing. I don’t have to actually do the work. I can just sit back, think about how great it’s going to be when I’m done and get excited about it. That’s motivation for me to work on it.
But when I get down to actually doing it – to the point where I have to put in the time, the effort and figure out how to make it work… well, the motivation to do the work is usually fleeting for me. I would rather think about something else that I want to do instead.
The Daily Grind
Motivation is especially difficult when I’ve been on a project for a long time – when the work is constant, and never ending.
When I look at WatchMeCode screencasts, for example, I see nothing but an endless amount of work. I see endless hours spent trying to figure out what would make a good screencast. I see the practice, the setup, the additional practice to make sure I understand what I want to say. I see the more than 100 episodes of video content that I have produces in the last 4 years and the effort that has gone in to it.
And as predictable as the changing seasons, I don’t want to work on screencasts anymore.
But I do it anyways. I record yet another screencast. I put my thoughts and understanding in to something that will hopefully help other people learn.
It becomes a grind… a never ending effort to push an ever growing ball up a hill.
A Tipping Point?
They say it gets easier after some time – that there will be some magical tipping point where the ball starts to roll downhill.
Maybe that’s true. Maybe there will be some point in the future at which WatchMeCode will mostly take care of itself and I won’t have to worry about it.
But not everything will have that tipping point.
Just Showing Up
Sometimes the work we do is never ending. Sometimes the best we can do it just show up to work, and slog through it. That in itself can be a victory on it’s own.
There isn’t always a light at the end of the tunnel. We hope there is, or we eventually figure out that there isn’t and we move on to another tunnel.
For me, I’m going through yet another round of wondering if another tunnel is the better option. But then I think about how little effort WatchMeCode takes, in comparison to other things I could be doing. I compare the income from screencasts vs the income from the other products and services I have, and there’s no way I can leave it – not yet, at least.
In To The Future
There’s no way I can know what the future will bring for me. I don’t have any plans on leaving my screencasting efforts behind. I need the income, and the work is relatively easy compared to other sources of income that I have.
I may look back on this time, in a month or two, and wonder what I was complaining about. I probably will do that. It’s just another cycle of me doubting what I’m doing and coming to terms with the endless grind that is screencasting.
I Do What I Have To Do
I really don’t want to work on screencasts right now. But I need to. I have to keep the content flowing so my income continues. So, I clock in. I prepare, I record and I release another episode on the weekly schedule that I set for myself. Some times it seems worth it. Sometimes I get tired of it, like today.
I grind the wheel of another day, hoping I can build up enough of a buffer to give myself a few weeks off. I’d like to find that tipping point, but I don’t see it yet. So I grind on.
Day, in. Day out. Week after week. Month after month. Cause sometimes, that’s what you have to do.