# Motivation

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How did you overcome a lack of motivation?

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Baby steps........... IMO the best way to keep up motivation is to do things a bit at a time. That doesn't mean you don't work a lot. What it means is you make some small incremental improvement to your project, debug it and see the results of your work.  I'm super-guilty of not doing this. I often tend to write thousands of lines of code, sometimes for three months before I debug it and get it running.  Even though I'm pretty good at designing stuff in my head, I really don't think this is optimal.  I'm actually trying to change this in myself.  I find I'm more motivated when I can see the results of what I'm doing preferably on a daily basis.  Sometimes it's not possible but I think you should lean in that direction.

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I totally agree. Keep at it, say, 10 mins a day.

The point is, it's 10 minutes to open up your IDE, DAW, Photoshop or whatever it is you do. And when it's open already, you can't help tweaking this a little, adding a bit of that or fixing this or trying out that. At least, that's true for me.

And even if it's only one line of code, a little change in a melody, dragging the monster a few pixels the right or adding a new sound effect on a button press. What you get is progress. And that's what gets you back motovated.

Hope, this helps. All the best for you :)

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For me it's always a matter of opening IDE. Every single morning i struggle a lot with this simple task, but once i'm done i can't help but code till the evening. I guess that's because i enjoy what i'm doing.

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I would say it depends on what you're lacking motivation for.

If you're talking about motivation to stop watching YouTube videos and start working on a project on any given day, that largely depends on you, so try out a few different strategies until you find what works for you. Myself, I find that just getting myself "pumped" about the project (reminding myself why I'm excited for it and what I can do today to realize some of that excitement) helps a great deal, or sometimes (like with my Japanese study at the moment) I make it a daily habit. It's the same with procrastination from anything else.

If you're talking about motivation to continue working on a particular game at all, I would generally suggest that perhaps you should stop developing that game, because that would suggest to me that you're not having fun with it anymore. Remember, there's something like a 99.99% chance that no one but you cares about your project, so if you're not getting anything out of it, there's no sense continuing. If you're concerned about wasting the effort you already went through, publish the source code under a libre license (if you haven't already) and who knows, maybe someone else with more interest will pick it up and develop it further (probably not, but at least you're giving them the option). And as for you, move on to something you really want to do.

If you're talking about motivation to continue game development at all, I would suggest that you should stop doing it. I always say that game development is financial suicide, because it is. You have to be developing games in spite of this because you love to do so. So if you don't have that passion, or you lose that passion, let it go and move on to something else that you do (still) love to do. There's no shame in that.

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I use the drunken self messaging method from "How I Met Your Mother".

(The drunken characters would leave answering machine messages to themselves when drunk so that they would remember important stuff in the morning)

I make sure to leave an intentional error where I left off in the code.

A lot of times that error would be a self directed comment without the "//" prefix. That way I can immediatly find my place in the code and continue working.Something like:

int a=math.pow(a,2);

Note to self: squared function makes physics look bad, try something else //this will not compile :-)

Then all I need to do is start up my project, and get a compilation error on a certain line. And seeing that red compiler message immediatly gets me motivated to keep working!

Edited by SillyCow

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6 hours ago, SillyCow said:

I make sure to leave an intentional error where I left off in the code.﻿

A lot of times that error would be a self directed comment without the "//" prefix.

I do that too. #error is your friend here.

As to the original question... there is no such thing as motivation. There is only "did or did not do".
It's simple. Want to be a programmer? Write code. Sit down every day and write something. Write one function and make sure it works perfectly. Next day, get up and write another one. Do this every single day for a year. No excuses.

If after a year, you're dreading the coding bit... do something else, programming is not for you. There's no shame in that either. The exact same advice applies to writing/art/music/sport/cooking/knitting/whatever.

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5 hours ago, ChaosEngine said:

Do this every single day for a year. No excuses.

If after a year, you're dreading the coding bit... do something else, programming is not for you. There's no shame in that either. The exact same advice applies to writing/art/music/sport/cooking/knitting/whatever.

This is... actually not good advice at all, I think? Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, but I'm pretty sure there are at least a few programmers who occasionally take a a break that lasts more than 24 hours, and saying that programming isn't "for them" to me sounds like the same kind of pointless elitism that leads to stuff like "real programmers only [write in some particular language/use some particular text editor/use some particular naming convention/etc.]" -- all fine, I guess, but in that case I think that fake programmers often make programs that are just as good or better than those made by real programmers.

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10 minutes ago, cowsarenotevil said:

This is... actually not good advice at all, I think? Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, but I'm pretty sure there are at least a few programmers who occasionally take a a break that lasts more than 24 hours, and saying that programming isn't "for them﻿" to me sounds like the same kind of pointless elitism that leads to stuff like "real programmers only [write in some particular language/use some particular text editor/use some particular naming convention/etc.]" -- all fine, I guess, but in that case I think that fake programmers often make programs that are just as good or better than those made by real programmers.

2

Hmmm, perhaps that was badly written on my part. Ironic, since I was attempting to paraphrase Terry Pratchett on writing

I'm not saying that every programmer has to do this. Most people who program do it either for work or because it's a hobby (i.e. something they enjoy). They don't need to do this, because they're already doing it naturally. This is for those struggling with "motivation" .... just force yourself to do it.

If you remove all excuses, most of the time, you'll find that you get into the groove and just keep doing it. It's an exercise in discipline. I had the same thing when I started running. I would consistently find reasons not to run, and it wasn't until I pushed past the initial slowness that I started to enjoy it.

And if you're still finding excuses .... you're probably not enjoying it, and maybe it's just not something you're ever going to enjoy.

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1 minute ago, ChaosEngine said:

Hmmm, perhaps that was badly written on my part. Ironic, since I was attempting to paraphrase Terry Pratchett on writing

I'm not saying that every programmer has to do this. Most people who program do it either for work or because it's a hobby (i.e. something they enjoy). They don't need to do this, because they're already doing it naturally. This is for those struggling with "motivation" .... just force yourself to do it.

If you remove all excuses, most of the time, you'll find that you get into the groove and just keep doing it. It's an exercise in discipline. I had the same thing when I started running. I would consistently find reasons not to run, and it wasn't until I pushed past the initial slowness that I started to enjoy it.

And if you're still finding excuses .... you're probably not enjoying it, and maybe it's just not something you're ever going to enjoy.

Yeah, I agree with that completely. It's just that I'd be lying if I said there weren't days (or occasional periods a fair bit longer than that) when I wasn't just wasn't that enthusiastic about programming, and I think my life would have gone quite a bit differently if I'd said, "Huh, I don't feel like programming today. Time to quit forever, I guess."

I certainly don't think that was the point of your post, but it did feel like the logical conclusion of taking it literally, and I just don't want anyone coming away thinking that programming isn't "for them" just because they occasionally don't want to do it.

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