How to Stay Motivated for Creators

By Carley Varley

Stay Focused and Empowered

If you are reading this, you are probably struggling with motivation during this pandemic. I am here with you. Over the past year I have struggled to stay motivated and even to get motivated in the first place.

In order to achieve the goals I set, I designed these steps to help me get moving and stay motivated. I hope these tips will bless and help you today. 

1. Create a Timetable

Setting a timetable creates a great routine and builds stability.

As simple as it sounds, it really does help with getting yourself motivated. Once I set out a routine to follow, I felt so much better and I had the motivation to do the task I had set myself that day. Here’s an example:

  • On Mondays do something like learn to produce or learn an instrument.
  • On Tuesdays, focus on music covers or song writing and on Wednesdays make it a hobby day for other activities.

I plan out my day, week, month and even year on a sheet of paper and hope to stick to it. If I do wake up and feel called to work on something else though, I swap the days. So do this if you feel an urge to write a song on the day you have learning an instrument planned. 

2. Learn to Rest & Take Breaks

It is vital to take breaks as a musician.

This tip is probably one of the most important. People who work too hard burn out very quickly. You may be reading this thinking, ‘how is resting going to get me motivated?’ When I have a song writing day, I break up the day and have an hour break in-between and this really helps me when I go back to the song.

It is important to work hard but it is also important to rest and to take breaks when you need them, this will help you feel motivated and productive.

In today’s culture it can be easy to feel guilty for taking breaks or resting, especially as culture tells us to work hard constantly. Your body needs breaks and rest.

3. Do the things that YOU enjoy!

It can be very easy to fall into a pattern and before you know it you are sucking the fun out of the thing you use to be motivated in.

By this I mean that you can try and do something for work rather than fun and soon it becomes a ‘I have to do this’ and not a ‘I want to do this.’ When this happens, my suggestion is that you do something you enjoy first and then you’ll feel good and happy to go back and do the task you set yourself that you had no motivation in at first.

For example, I hate covering a lot of the chart songs, as most of the bands I listen to are rock. So, what I do is I cover a song I love first, get motivated and pumped and then I cover a chart song that I was dreading covering.

I’m the same with songs that I’ve written, if I just can’t get in the flow with a song, then I go off and write another one! This way when I come back to the other song, I have had a break and I have also written something different that I enjoyed writing.

4. Make a Motivation Playlist!

Make a motivation playlist and listen to it whilst you create or are learning.

This gets me absolutely pumped to make music! It may also be worth going for a drive, listening to music and then returning to the task that you felt no motivation in.

I often take many car journeys listening to Linkin Park and when I come back, I feel a rush to write or create.

If you already have a playlist, try to update it, stick some new songs on the list or have a search for some new bands or artists. Listening to music is shown to increase productivity in many cases, I love listening to music whilst I work or before I work, and man does it make me feel motivated!

5. Set Yourself NEW Goals!

If you set goals and the thought of not meeting them has caused you to feel unmotivated then set NEW GOALS.

Last year, many of us set goals that we wish we could have achieved but due to Covid-19 we couldn’t. I had a big goal to record an entire EP. When that couldn’t happen, I made a new goal: to learn how to produce and start my own music.

I was miserable and anxious for a lot of this year, the only thing that kept me sane and kept me going was setting myself new goals that were good in the current situation.

Okay, I can’t gig!? I’m going to do live streams and focus on social media. Get a piece of paper or set reminders on your phone of little goals, setting these little wins will help you get motivated.

This is my favorite tip because this has helped me the most. I haven’t scrapped my old goals, but they are delayed and so focusing on the news ones helps me because it’s a new purpose and something to focus on. 

Congratulations for getting this far!

I really hope that these tips helped you in some way. It isn’t easy at the moment but keep going, the world needs your music, your voice and your creativity!    

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