Thursday, October 6, 2011

Don't Listen to the Voices - Staying Focused on a Project

Of late I've had very little time for hobby. Work has pretty much sucked up all the time available, and then some. It doesn't help that my office is also my hobby cave, so I occasionally look over my shoulder and sigh forlornly at the batch of unpainted models waiting my attention. Poor little mites. It doesn't help that this is only one of a number of projects I have on the go, even I DID have time for it right now. I'm going to take a breather to write this though, so I feel I've had some hobby input this month.

I have noticed also, as the momentum on my fimir project has been mired down until it is now barely idling, that the voices have started.

Don't pretend you don't hear them too.

The little whispers that make you wonder if you should start that new project, surely you'll be able to fit it in? Just one new model, as a break? That gang/character/vehicle/unit/team won't take long. And look at all that new stuff, looks nice eh? Of course, the occasional rummage through the tower of lead/plastic/resin (you know what I mean there too) reveals a model or two you've really been meaning to paint for years now. It's all very distracting.

Personally I have three warhammer armies on the go, a pile of mighty empires campaign markers to do, some terrain to finish and a blood bowl team to assemble. Years of painting right there. I know this is a common phenomenon, as perfectly illustrated by a post in the excellent Iron Mitten. Check it out here. So, there's a whole plethora of reasons we do this, which is not my focus today. Rather, how does one combat these distracting little whispers? I have managed to dismiss all the notions of parking the fimir to work on other projects (when I have time again) and here's how I'm doing it:

1. Pick a project you're passionate about. The more you love it, the more likely it will get finished.

2. Keep up a decent rate of work. Give yourself short - term goals. "I'll paint ten rank and file this week." Small steps done regularly are better than nothing.

3. Don't take on too much at once. Concentrate on achievable chunks. Don't tackle all fifty goblins at once. Do them in batches of ten, or even five, and intersperse them with more exciting parts of the army.

4. Keep and eye on the reward. Keeping reminding yourself how great it will all look when done. How you will bask in glory and the wonder of your peers.

5.  Use the forums. The internet is FULL is forums running painting threads, army plogs etc. These are mostly full of people who will cheers you on. It also helps when you get pinged for updates. It's harder to give up if you've got folks egging you on. I've made huge use of this, and it's an ENORMOUS encouragement.

For those of you lucky enough to have local clubs or gaming stores, tell people how you're getting on, bring in what you have so far, ask for advice. It's all a big help.

6. Take a break.  

"What, but you said?!"

Forget what I said. That was then. I don't mean dustcover the whole project for weeks, but don't hammer away at it every night either. Take a night off, watch a movie, go for a bracing stroll (or a bracing troll, whatever tickles your fancy), take your partner out for dinner, all that good stuff. Hmm. This sounds a bit patronising. Still! it's no less true for all that. It'll revitalise you when you return to the painting table.

7. Talk to your minis. No, I'm kidding. Or am I? I am. Am I?

Hopefully there will be something here to help keep you from having six half painted armies while waiting for number seven to arrive in the post. Now, where's that fimm I was working on...

Wayland Games

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