Discipline is the secret to my motivation.
Right now my discipline is kind of goofed up because of a bad life choice I made than nearly killed my passion. Even so, where my emotional "motivation" has faltered, my habits and discipline keep me moving forward.
My last job was with a screen printing shop where I needed to be present at 8:30 in the morning. When I got home from the shop, I was out of energy to invest in things that mattered to me. I was able to spend time with my wife and play video games, but that didn't build up what I was trying to do with my life.
Around September of 2017 the book Overlap released and suddenly I saw where my problems were, and I saw that:
- I needed to cut out things that weren't building up my art career.
- I needed to take care of myself by getting enough sleep and getting it regularly.
- I needed to invest my energy in my art at the beginning of the day before my job robbed me of it and kept me from doing what I really loved to do.
So I started waking up at 6 AM. I made my breakfast and then sat down to draw until it was time to go to work. And I did that again. And again. And again.
And obtaining that discipline was not easy. I had to shut down the computer and phones and stuff at 9. I had to wind down so I could fall asleep close to 10 PM. And then I actually had to get out of the bed and do. Not look at a phone, not check email, not consume. Do.
And I repeated this until it was an automatic thing. "I am awake today, therefore I will draw."
And, even now when I feel hollow and wonder what it is I'm working toward and where it is I am going, I still press forward, and there is not a day that goes by that I am not drawing some way or another.
I committed to going to bed at an earlier hour.
Then I committed to sleeping regularly.
Then I committed to getting up at a certain hour.
And then I committed to sitting down at a clear, undistracted desk with a project ready.
Once I made it to my desk, what else could I do? I drew.
Commitment precedes motivation. When you commit to an act, you can't help but do it.
You go to a day job, and when you are at that day job, you can't help but work.
Give your art the same respect you give a day job. Set yourself up so that once you sit down at that desk, pen in hand, you can't help but create.