Tea, Dailies, and InspirationJanuary 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
Tags: inspiration, kingyo hanabi, masala chai, state of flow, tea, World of Warcraft
Happy New Year Everyone! Being that we’re now 2 weeks into 2013 I thought it’d be a good idea to honor one of my new year’s resolutions: updating my blog more frequently. But being that it’s been quite a while since I’ve done this whole writing thing, I wasn’t really sure what to write about. So I figured I’d write about something that has been affecting me a lot lately as a creative type: getting inspired. Sometimes I don’t like to work until inspiration strikes, but unfortunately this can be quite problematic because let’s face it — sometimes inspiration just doesn’t strike. And when your whole career revolves around being inspired, that pretty much sucks. So over the years, I’ve tried to come up with ways to work around this little problem, and I thought I’d share my most important one:
Baby steps help you reach a state of flow.
Being able to work is all about being in that state of flow where your ability to do a particular activity (and having the confidence to do so) is at the appropriate level for engaging in said activity. The reason we often feel overwhelmed by tasks (despite the fact that we’ve succesfully completed similar tasks in the past), is because we aren’t warmed up yet. So when I am not in the correct state of mind to delve into a creative project, I often take baby steps in order to warm up my brain. Each time you complete a task, you feel a burst of confidence in your ability to be productive. The more of these “bursts” you have, the bigger tasks you can take on.
One of my favorite things about World of Warcraft, is that it is the perfect forum for taking baby steps of productivity and accomplishment. I think this is why MMOs in general are so appealing — They are built to tap into that part of human nature that desires to be productive, in a very consistent and quantifiable way. And while there are a lot of people who get addicted to this type of virtual accomplishment (or the aspect of escapism that an MMO provides), when used in moderation, it’s been a very helpful start to a productive day. I have adopted the ritual of making tea, and doing my WoW dailies while drinking tea and having a light breakfast. Often, preparing the tea takes a bit of time (especially when I follow the Samovar Masala Chai recipe), which I enjoy because it helps me relax. When I finish this ritual, I feel more confident to move onto other tasks. But it’s still a gradual progression. I move from WoW dailies, to household chores (making the bed, washing dishes, etc.), to running errands, to actually getting work done. Sometimes I can skip straight to working, but when I’ve gone for a while without touching a project, the progression really helps a lot.
Especially when you’re in a rut, making a list and tackling even the tiniest of duties is so incredibly helpful when it comes to breaking out of an uninspired state of mind. If you are wandering around in your pajamas and you don’t feel motivated to do anything, just try to pick up one thing and put it back in its place. Then force yourself to go wash a dish. Keep forcing the mundane little tasks until your brain decides to release some endorphines once it realizes you’ve just accomplished something. I’m not even kidding. I’ve had days when I feel like there is no point to finishing projects that once brought me so much joy and inspiration; I’ve felt apathetic and unmotivated. It’s at those times that you have to remind yourself that your projects have not actually lost their merit, you’re just not in the right state of mind. It’s all very chemical — Give your brain that feeling of accomplishment little by little, and it can help tremendously with getting back on track.
Oh, one of my other new year’s resolutions was to make a new video each week. I’m not sure how realistic this is, but I’m going to try my best! I kicked this off with “Kingyo Hanabi”… hope you enjoy ^___^