By Taylor Jevning
As a writer, I get to do something I love whenever I sit to write a story or article. Like any hobby or passion, it is an incredible feeling to have a purpose and goal that incorporates the things you love to do into your daily life. Many of the people I have met in Concordia have a wide array of interests–from sports to arts to wonderful things that I can’t believe people are even capable of. In an environment with such talented people, it’s great to be inspired by the things others participate in and explore your passions further; however, as with any hobby, sometimes it feels like you’ve hit a wall where you feel unmotivated and cannot find the energy to even participate in something you love. Writing is one of those particular hobbies where a lack of motivation becomes apparent.
Every once in a while, I feel like I get to the point where I have no stories left to tell. I will sit down to write, and instead of words flowing from my brain to the page in front of me, I can’t find any part of myself that feels good enough to share things with the world. I get articles and stories written and read them over knowing I can’t be proud of what I’ve written, ultimately trashing hours of work and feeling discouraged. Even when I was an athlete, sometimes I would put my figure skates on and step on the ice and would struggle to perform, while on other days, I felt like I could pour my soul into my programs and my training. It took a huge amount of self-reflection and critical thought to understand this phenomena, and understanding myself better has made these hard times easier.
First, when you’re feeling unmotivated while doing something you love, it is important to remind yourself that you are doing an activity that you do, in fact, love. When we participate in the same activities often, they can easily become part of a routine rather than an act of passion. When I’m dreading writing, I remind myself how lucky I am to have a few hours every week to dedicate to an activity that I want to do, and I concentrate on the fact that this is time I make for myself. Trying to forget about the daily stresses of university, work, having a social life, and managing your mental health is hard to do when you sit down, clear your schedule, and try to focus on something positive. For some reason, I find it incredibly difficult to put my busy schedule to the back of my mind when it comes to doing things I enjoy. Even at concerts or fun activities with friends, I feel nervous and anxious about the responsibilities I’m neglecting when I’m taking time for myself. Recognizing that I have set aside time in my day to sit down and not focus on my responsibilities has made it easier to stay in a positive mindset when it comes to my hobbies, and this has actually led to me channeling my negative energy into my writing (such as in this article). It helps clear my mind and makes me feel more relaxed when I finally re-enter the real world.
Sometimes I can’t even bring myself to write. At times, I’ve gone weeks without writing and felt guilty. As someone who’s been there, this mentality sends you into a downward spiral where you feel beaten down and guilty for not being capable of something that once made you so happy. There are moments, though, like in my last article, where you finish something you didn’t feel capable of, and you look back with pride. When I sat down to write my last article, I felt so heavy and incapable of expressing myself, and I channeled those negative emotions into my article. When I completed and edited my writing, I felt a sense of pride that I hadn’t felt in a long time about my own writing. Those moments are what remind me of the fact that I do work hard and deserve to take pride in the fruits of my labor, even though I’m not always in the right headspace. I felt the desire to share that article with my friends and received such positive feedback. Articles like my last one are a reminder that I’ve come so far in developing my talents, and that when we love the things we do, we should push ourselves to do them–even when we feel like we are at our lowest.
This article is also a product of a lack in motivation and emotional drainage as I’m currently preparing for the start of my final semester of university. I feel so confident in myself and in all of us here that we can–and will–make time for things we love this semester. Writing this article is proof that you should. Even when you feel a lack of motivation, these hobbies are the things that allow you to take time to focus on yourself and the things you love, which is necessary to find balance and mental stability. This semester, I hope you all hold onto your passions and are able to channel your energies into things that are wonderful and productive in the midst of stress and struggles; I know it can be overwhelming at times. Let us take our successes with great pride and handle our failures with stride, knowing that the things we love are worth our attention. Dedicating a few hours a week to things we love is a great way to stay mentally healthy, happy, and remind us of the fact that we are amazing.