Motivation – Why isn’t it always there for the things you love?
TRANSCRIPT of the Podcast:
Hi everyone, I’m Tommy Balassa. My apologies for today’s podcast being late.
I recorded Episode 0003 a month ago but refused to upload it, because I was worried listeners would think it was stupid because it wasn’t scripted and my vocabulary wasn’t clear, it just sounded bad.
I’m not doing things I enjoy during the week and by the time Friday gets here for my “CREATIVE DAY” I’m worn out and don’t feel creative and end up asking myself “What’s the point?”.
By the time Sunday rolls around I have family commitments to deal with, though I could fit it in if I needed too, but instead I detach from the shame I feel and wallow in failure.
Why am I recording this today? It’s Friday and I’ve made a tiny change and it’s unexpectedly working right now. I’ve recognized it’s working and why. That means I have to share it.
My hope is that this will continue and I’ll return to my creative life.
This Podcast was about finding a link to my old self that loves to write and create stories, a way to overcome my behavioral deficiencies as a writer.
A way to make contacts and even friends who are serious about writing, especially in the fantasy and Sci-fi genres.
However, Podcasts can take a long time to catch on, if ever. So it’s a fools errand for me to expect to gain any insights from others until I have regular listens. That may never happen.
Today’s Podcast is about how I decided to do this episode today and how I am planning to make sure it keeps happening, along with how I”m going to make writing the focal point in my life.
Today’s episode actually happened by accident. You see, I have a job working 4 days per week. I’m off Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. As I’ve already mentioned, I have some issues with motivation and self-confidence that I allow to rule me.
I love to garden. I love to raise vegetables. I’ve done so for years, never very successfully, it’s very hot in the summer here and makes it quite difficult and time-consuming.
For the past couple of years I’ve not really put any effort into gardening because I’d had several failures in recent years with long extended droughts and months of above one hundred degree weather.
So this year, as the gardening year rolled around I was also starting the idea of this podcast.
I’d put energy into learning about how podcasts are done and trying to figure out how I of all people could contribute anything to the ether of writing.
That’s when it hit me that I AM, the contribution, rather said that my behaviors are the subject of the podcast.
I came to realize some time ago that my behaviors weren’t all mine. I didn’t create them though I’m well on my way to perfecting them. However, it’s not the good behaviors that I’ve mastered.
A couple of months ago I recorded two podcasts, uploaded them and told everyone listening that in two weeks there be a new podcast.
It didn’t happen. For the reasons I’ve already gone through, it didn’t happen.
A few weeks ago after some failures on a Friday, when I recorded one but didn’t upload it, I did find my way clear to start a garden.
That garden is very important to my motivation for doing today’s podcast.
It’s connected to who I am as a whole. I’m not a whole person. I believe that is the problem I have that is stopping me from writing and leading me away from doing things I really want to do.
If you knew me, then you’d know I’m a very outgoing person around people I know, but pretty reserved among strangers. Well, at least until I don’t think they’re strange anymore.
I’ve been a singer in two bands. I waited until I was thirty nine to get into a band. Not because I couldn’t sing, but because I didn’t think anyone would want to hear me and I didn’t want to audition because I was afraid to fail or succeed.
I’ve always gone out to listen to live music, but over the past twenty five years I’ve all but stopped doing that.
It was a very important part of who I was and live music still is a very big part of who I am, but I don’t go often anymore.
I learned that performing is like a drug for me. I love doing it.
So a few weeks ago I finally recognized and acknowledged that I have been limiting myself. I’ve been suppressing my creative nature, my need to be a part of something new that’s different and growing.
I decided to build two small raised bed gardens in my back yard. Much smaller than what I’ve had before. They wouldn’t be such a big personal or physical investment.
Two weeks pass and I am having such great success with those two garnens I decided to add another one.
Now I have three little raised bed gardens. I have pepper plants and tomatoes, acorn squash and cilantro right now.
This past week I watched some videos on raised beds, just because I like to watch that type of thing.
On Thursday after work I decided I wanted to build a proper wood framed raised bed, big enough to grow what I really want to grow.
However, I also want it to look good and last and that’s what’s changed, today.
I bought the wood yesterday. I was planning on getting up at around 8 to 9 am this morning and start building the raised bed.
But what happened was that I got up at six forty five when my wife left for work and never went back to bed.
Within a few minutes I realized I wanted to do this podcast and I even knew why and what the subject was going to be.
I know how to build a raised bed. It’s no mystery and I know how much work it will be and how long it will take me to do it. I also know the reward I’ll get from doing it.
Everything is about rewards. Dopamine.
I’m getting satisfaction right now just from writing this. The same feeling I have been getting from:
1a. Woodworking, learning to build electric guitars
2. singing on stage in front of people, 3. playing a guitar well to a song I love,
4. watching my friends play in their bands,
5. visiting with my friends,
6. being in a crowd of people while doing something I like or love to do, 7. writing a new story,
8. creating new characters
9. Creating new ideas for stories
10. Sharing those new ideas
11. Traveling to new places
I just don’t really never do any of those things anymore. All of those things I used to do that made me feel alive.
They gave me dopamine and that gave me stamina and made me more resilient.
Are you resilient? Do you have the stamina to write a lot or for a long time?
Today I’m here I believe because I’ve returned to doing something I love, gardening.
I think that having success in gardening has led to an increased production of dopamine and thus has motivated me to continue and expand my garden.
To the extent that I want to write and want this podcast to succeed, something this morning, when I wanted to go back to bed drove me to write and record today’s podcast.
There was a moment this morning when I realized that the success of the three small concrete block raised beds and three avocado seeds I’ve sprouted and the 6 citrus trees I thought had died but have returned from winter, made me want to do more.
The moment I realized that, I was in a an altered state of mood because I could feel the wave of satisfaction pass through me. That was dopamine rewarding me.
It was my brain telling me gardening is something good. It also gave me another even stronger wave when I thought about this podcast.
I wasn’t going to do it today at all. I’d set it aside to do the garden, mow the lawn and finish reading Mistborn book 1 by Brandon Sanderson.
The thought of this podcast however, gave me the same rush as the garden and so I took it and ran with it.
My take away from this episode is that I’ve limited my life to tasks and other functions that have no meaning to me.
My life is void of creativity most of the time.
I’ve learned that if something I do doesn’t create something new, I don’t like it or want to do it.
For me, creativity is a drug. It’s how I get my dopamine. The reward that motivates us all.
Without living a creative life, I’m pretty much useless to others and myself.
So does that mean that if I just do creative things it will fix all my behavioral problems related to writing?
I don’t know, but I think it’s worth a try to find out.
How about you?
Do you ever notice the dopamine?
Are you down a lot and unable to get up off the couch and not doing what you really want to be doing?
I’m going to try this for a while. Try to figure out how to get those rewards.
I’m going to invest more time in my garden and start going out to see my friends and going to listening to live music more often.
I’m going to do more of the things I want to do and less of the things I don’t want to do.
I’ll still do the hard stuff, paying the bills and such, going to work, until I don’t have to anymore.
But I think, I hope, that I found a piece of the puzzle of my mind and my behavior that will lead me to a more productive and creative life.
If you have any comments on this episode, any insights about your own experiences – please share them with us by commenting on this podcast’s COMMENT link at unpublishableauthor.com on the podcast page or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s it for today.
Thanks for listening.
I’m Tommy Balassa, go out and create something you love!