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 be demotivated.

My own motivational sinkholes are primarily related to the stuff I read and watch online, to me being envious, impatient and 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, reading stuff like that leaves me mentally free falling toward the bottom of a dark and wet sinkhole.

Comparing myself to others and their much too cool games

Sometimes when I come across 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. :)

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, technical details. I keep talking and talking to the point where I’ve turned 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. 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 avoid most and stop 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!
/Kenni