Burning out
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    Question Burning out

    I have a bad habit of burning myself out.
    I go from unmotivated, and unfocused, to super focused and guilty for what I didn't accomplish previously. I then cram, crunch, and drive myself as hard as I can, until I make myself sick. Then I go back to being unmotivated and the cycle repeats.
    I regularly find I'm burning myself out, and I know this is unhealthy, not to mention not very efficient.

    I'm in the attempt of trying to fix it. I'm working at making a reasonable schedule and keeping things organized. Maybe I'll get at least 6 hours of sleep tonight, lol.

    I'm just wondering does anyone else do this, or has previously done this? How do you stop?

    Or is this just something I'll have to learn to live with because the creative process is "a fickle b**ch"?


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    Or, if this a habit you do in all parts of your life, it may be a reflection of a greater issue that a doctor or medication can help with?

    Learning is more than just the mechanics of doing, it's also the act of being. Schedules are fine, but not to the point of mental stress. That only comes if what you're doing is your livelihood. If you're still in the learning stages, keep a level head and work towards progressing instead of achieving.

    Little things can make your efforts more worthwhile.

    Last edited by OmenSpirits; November 23rd, 2012 at 11:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    Or, if this a habit you do in all parts of your life, it may be a reflection of a great issue that a doctor or medication can help with?

    Learning is more than just the mechanics of doing, it's also the act of being. Schedules are fine, but not to the point of mental stress. That only comes if what you're doing is your livelyhood. If you're still in the learning stages, keep a level head and work towards progressing instead of achieving.

    Little things can make your efforts more worthwhile.
    I was afraid of something like that, lol. And perhaps I'm stating it wrong, yet maybe not.
    It seems that It does pertain primarily to art, yet I do have a terrible tendency with school work to procrastinate.
    After reading the thread opening, it does sound a bit "manic depressive" but I don't think that's what it is. It seems like moments of just creative bursts, and lulls where I feel like I can't pick up the pencil, pen, brush, and so on.
    trying to keep a schedule seems to allow me to better keep my goals visual, and assists me in not "overbooking" myself.
    Being at the learning stages still, I will try to relax.

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    Look up John Cleese video on Creativity. It helps to have the right environment.
    Then 2 other things that helped me is to experiment with different things. Me I lost all my drive for drawing some time ago. All of it. Then I started dinking around with comics and that sudden change from still pictures to trying to convey a narrative put more drive when I was about to flat out quit, then when I got my fill of pages and panels I would get an urge for still images then back and forth between the two. The other thing that helped was simply realizing all my studies and things people find annoying like simple still lifes of a coke can or something are actually fun. Especially the more you really pay attention and observe.

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    This sounds like Shamus Culhane "Animation from Script to Screen", Chapter 3, pages 23 - 27.

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    For a while I had this going on for all aspects of my life, and last month was especially bad. I "started over" at the start of this week by allowing myself to relax. I don't know if this was the same for you but before I felt like if I wasn't eating right, drawing and exercising for hours every day, I was being lazy, a faker, and just overall a bad person. I would crash so hard that I didn't eat or sleep because I saw it as work. My friend pointed out I was trying to take on professional habits before I had even built a proper foundation and it was probably the cause of burning myself out. Now I try and make an effort to do something the best I can every day, but if I don't (either through forgetfulness or because I need time off) I don't beat myself up over it because I know there's tomorrow to do well too. I've been able to function a lot better this week so far than all of last month due to the shift in attitude. It's better to let yourself take a day off than to go 110% for a week or two and suddenly crash hard for another few weeks.

    You might want to go to a counselor as well. They can help you figure out a plan that works for you. Mine helped me realize how many hours a week is spent on school/work, and that the time-based drawing/exercise goals I was setting for myself on a daily basis were pushing those hours up into "overtime". Maybe you could chart out what exactly you do on a weekly basis, and figure out what can be modified so you're not burning out.

    TL; DR: Find out what works for you and be nice to yourself.

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    hey themegagod,

    I feel like our topics are both really similar; I have the same issues sometimes. Im starting to look at "why" do I go into overdrive, and what is motivating me to take on this much work.

    If the overdrive is from a type of "fear" or sense of "lack" , like if i don't do "x" then i will never be a good artist , etc. Then the reservoir of energy is not the proper type and runs out quick, thus leading to that state where the last thing you want to do is draw. And that state comes about in order to refuel that tank, thus repeating the cycle.

    But, if you find and focus on the reasons why you enjoy drawing, such as the feeling of the pencil on the paper, the movement of smooth lines or whatever that you enjoy during the process. Then your motivation will come from an enjoyment of those feelings and it won't feel like work since your not expending any energy, and your reservoir is from an abundance mentality rather than a lacking mentality. And that will make it easier to continue without going through the same stress cycle that the fear mentality leads to.

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