What to consider when there is low motivation to create

"I’ll have a little perspective" so orders the food critic, aptly named Anton Ego, in the film Ratatouille (Pixar/Disney 2007 Dir. Brad Bird). And why not? It’s not usually on the menu but when we choose to take some perspective we can gain a lot more insight, especially into what it takes to create and to be creative beings.


The creative drive

Creative thinkers, writers, producers, developers, programmers, actors, artists, in fact, anyone identifying as creative will know of their own drive to create, either through their chosen livelihood or to include this as part of their lives.

However, many creatives can experience various issues that can impede their creativity. One major issue is their creative drive which can be affected by either negative thinking or by something that they haven't yet recognised but has thrown them right off course to find they are not creating like before. Perhaps there may also be a stealth-like level of anxiety, and general malaise and so low motivation becomes a continual experience. And the question of why is this happening arises.

We all try to work it out on our own but perhaps have now realised everything that we have tried hasn’t worked or hasn't hit the spot or got to the hub of what is going on. Counselling can help to find out through a process of curiosity looking in depth and perspective at different aspects including:

The drive and motivation to create

To know that we want to do and also feel the desire to create but have little motivation to do so can leave us feeling even more low. We can all relate to having ups and downs, but when these are more pronounced and more on the lower end we can be affected in lots of ways. By inquiring into what happens when we experience a lack of motivation, or what usually motivates us to express ourselves through our chosen medium doesn’t seem to anymore, we can determine where the struggle exists. So through counselling, we can explore this and find ways to reconnect and recover the drive and self-motivation.

The reward: internal vs external reward

Some important questions can be asked like, 'What are the rewards that come from and for your creative work?', Was it a case that the initial way of working was through the internal desire and the enjoyment of creating but now has been replaced with more external priorities such as being reviewed well enough or the financial reimbursement? Research has shown that while we do need external rewards, especially if this is our livelihood if the internal rewards have been lost along the way or disconnected from, then we lose the consequential deeper satisfaction and our motivation wanes as a result.

What helps?

It may be that former supportive habits which helped before can be revived or, if after realising they no longer help then, through counselling we can explore to find new ones that will. Of course, there will also be other circumstances to consider as well as the motivation to be creative but when there is so much to gain from our creative selves, isn't it worth the time to reflect on how you can be supported to find your way through your creative well-being?

When creativity is an inherent part of someone’s identity and they experience a struggle and this is brought to counselling then this can be fully acknowledged, expressed, identified, and sensitively explored, and with time new perspective and insight can be developed for the client, which can effectively aid their creative potential and their creative expression.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London SW4 & Eastbourne BN21
Written by Catherine M Telford, MBACP. Face to Face or online
London SW4 & Eastbourne BN21

Are you suffering with anxiety, doubting or criticising yourself and feeling lost, sad and low? Are you experiencing low motivation for your life and work, or feeling stuck? Finding life difficult and confusing and want to be fully heard and able to get some clarity and resolution? Maybe there are f...

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