The Paradox of Motivation: How do you keep it up?
Many of you who are regular visitors of the site – or perhaps this is the first article you’ve ever read – will notice that our output can be patchy. We often go through periods of producing a large amount of content, followed by a length of time in which we are relatively quiet. This isn’t on purpose – but figuring out why it happens isn’t an easy task.
The reason for some of it, largely comes from me not having a very focused goal for the website. At times I’ve wanted to cover everything – from news to reviews, other times it has just been about my Youtube videos, to just having a few lengthier feature posts a few times a week. All of these approaches have had various success, but they have all had their share of problems. On reflection I think it may be a problem with the nature of any website relating to video games. The community is and potential for articles is so vast – it must be the only hobby in which journalism relating specifically to it is treated in much the same way as general news and political journalism. This means that having a specific, focused goal can be very hard – there’s just so much to write about, that when you miss even a day, the gap will be filled by other sites, and people won’t return.
A big issue is that I find it difficult to create enough content to supply the site with. I have managed to produce one article a day for a short while in the past – but then a day or two goes by without doing it, and life gets in the way, and weeks turn into months. Then comes the nagging feeling, wondering why I’m pushing myself to create the content in which relatively few people are reading or reacting too. I like to tell myself I made this website just because I like games – but the full truth is that I would have liked it to become well known and have my voice be heard amongst the crowded community. When this doesn’t happen, and the viewership is modest, it becomes very difficult to motivate myself.
The motivation problem is really at the core of it, because when you stop enjoying creating content, and you have nothing being given back to oneself, then you simply stop. So following on from that, is how do you motivate yourself? As I run the site I’ve found that when my motivation drops, so does the motivation of every other writer on the site, so I feel a certain burden to keep everything trucking. Some people would say – why not just give it up? The site has a lot of history, and the truth is, when I enjoy it – I really enjoy it. Even if I stopped writing – the historical content I would always like to be accessible.
The solution I have come to – is to only create content that you enjoy making. I currently have a lot of creative projects I’m working on the side, and each of these I’m doing simply because it is fun. If you’re not working for a financial reward, then you have to work for a creative one. From now on the output of this site may not be constant – and it will very likely be varied, from reviews of Anime, to games, to anything in between.
Some people, like myself, have used the excuse of time. I have a full time job – much like the majority of people who do this – yet this isn’t really the true reason for any lack of content. It’s easy enough for me to write after work instead of doing whatever else I was doing, and there are other people who manage far more with far less. Time is indeed a valuable resource – but a lot of people also use it as an excuse. The problem I find is that people tend to only want to plan time in the future – if they find themselves with a spare hour but wasn’t planning on doing any writing, then they won’t. Only if they know they have a free day coming up will they sit down and plan to do something. I have been one of these people for a very long time – and it is something I am really trying to change.
In terms of the other contributors to this site, I’d like them to feel the same way. I’m not going to force on reviews, or chase up news articles they don’t really want to write. This is going to be a fun project, in which gamers and geeks can write about whatever they like. The output will be varied and patchy – but I hope that it will be enjoyable, and have a very long life. Here’s to the future!
This has been a more personal article than what is regularly posted on this website – and I don’t think I have structured it or written it particularly well. To that end I’d love it to start a discussion, please ask anything in the comments below, or bring up any points you may have regarding to this topic, and we can all have a lovely big chinwag.