Monday, June 25, 2012

Motivation meter down to zero

So I need help, guys.

I work a very demanding 8-5 job, and when I come home, I'm drained. All I want to do is sit in my easy chair and read a book or watch TV. There is plenty of stuff that needs to be done, including writing and editing work and things around the house, but I don't have the energy or the motivation to do it.

(The effort to start up my computer and write this very post was almost overwhelming.)

The funny thing is, last year I worked the same day job and I also had a blog project that required me to write every day, from January 1 to December 31, and I never missed a single day.

Just a few months ago I was motivated to be productive every day. But when the project ended, my motivation to work went with it.

What do I do? Seriously, I'm asking. How do I work a full day at the office, come home and still have the energy to be productive?

Any advice would be welcome.


  1. you are invited to follow my blog

  2. Matt,

    My brother once passed along a motivational mantra, of sorts, that always manages to help when I feel worn down. He heard it a long time ago, when Kansas City had a basketball team, and those players would travel to local elementary schools to make presentations (not appearances, mind you … actual presentations about some beneficial aspect of athletics, how they can make you a better individual, how they draw communities together, etc.) During one of these visits, Kansas City King Larry Drew said something that always stuck in my brother’s mind. On the subject of hard work and commitment, Drew told the classes gathered in the gym to listen: “You’d be surprised what your body can do when you’re tired.”

    I found this statement memorable for a couple of reasons. I think, for one, it’s the first I recall hearing an athlete freely admit that he got tired during the course of a game – and that it was not only ok, but that you can acknowledge the fact and dig down deeper to push yourself to your goal. Second, it’s true. Generally, at some of the most critical points in an athletic contest, a player is far from working on fresh legs. You have to find a way to reach for another level of energy. Larry Drew’s approach, apparently, was just to admit it to himself, and play the best he could with what he had left. And third, I always liked the fact that my brother shared this with me. He was a tremendous athlete throughout his life. He played junior college football, which was remarkable for someone his size. I didn’t – and still don’t – understand much about football, but even I could see on every play, he played to his full ability. Balls out, really. Every. Single. Play. I guess that’s always been exciting to me – knowing what motivated someone close to me. Someone I looked up to.

    The process of writing can be so draining. Honestly, I feel like I have a talent for it, but my motivation comes and goes. I am like this with all of my interests. I go on “kicks” … one week it’s biking, the next it’s photography (go figure.) Lately, I’ve been working on making writing a longtime kick – at least for the next year, so I can knock out the basis of a book or a collection of short stories. Will I get there? I can’t say. But I know at the times I will most likely have available to write during the week – 5:30 a.m. or 10:30 and after – I’m going to be tired.