Sunday, February 14, 2021

Inspiration, or the lack of it.


Is anyone else struggling to keep themselves inspired at the moment? 

I look at the modelling projects in my stash and not one of them leaps out at me crying to be built. Worse, this has been the case for weeks, if not months. 

OK, I have build stuff for work, but I'm not getting as much pleasure out of that as normal. Projects that I'd once looked forward to are done, but with little enthusiasm. Selly Oak has stalled as the delivery date moves into the far future. Fortunately, I've received a couple of positive e-mails about it which have provided a welcome jolt of enthusiasm. 

My writing partner wrote recently that she was bored with everything and I think that's a big part of it. With no end to lockdown on the cards for months, if ever, everything just seems like a trudge. 

I know there are people out there being enthusiastic. Sales of modelling products are up, hugely in some cases. All that knowledge does for me is wonder if I shouldn't clear all my stuff out on eBay while the going is good. Ditch the lot, and take up some other hobby. But what? It's not like there is anything else that interests me either at the moment. 

All my life I have loved making things. Really loved it. Being creative, working with my hands, turning nothing into something. But not any more. 

OK, I can't stop - there is a list of work projects for various publications awaiting attention. I'll not be giving up so maybe some of my previous enthusiasm will return. I hope so. 

In the meantime, if someone finds mu modelling mojo - can I have it back?


John Fletcher said...

So sorry to hear that, Phil. I think most of us feel something of what you describe. The short, cold days do nothing to help, but the days are lengthening and it will get warmer.
Getting out into somewhere with a rural feel will help. Exercise helps, even if extracting the digit to start some exercise seems a daunting prospect. Take a camera and look for something natural and pleasing on the eye to photograph.
Latest issue of Garden Rail is great! Don't give up.

Alec said...

I think you should go down to the pond and sail a couple boats for a few hours at least once a week just to give you a change from building things all the time.

Simon Hargraves said...

I'm finding it comes and goes from day to day. I've been chipping away at the 009 Inglenook that sits at the back of the workbench, building an old 3H LMS open wagon kit in EM, fixed an old Hornby Western for a friend and the current activity is building a few N gauge wagon kits as I have a layout but no stock to run on it! At least I have other activities I can divert to...ham radio is different enough that it doesn't feel like more of the same and when the weather's not too bad I go out cycling...but I still get times when I'm just not interested in doing anything. Perhaps those who are getting a huge amount done are concentrating a large project? I've never aspired to building a model railway empire but the prospect of a dedicated hobby room when we move has got me thinking...
I can see that the lack of exhibition deadlines for the foreseeable future will demotivate some, again, perhaps having a long term home project of your own avoids this?
Hope your mojo returns soon Phil, all the best,

Ian C said...

Phil, I'm sorry to hear that! Reading your blog every day has become part of morning routine and the fact that I have done what I have in the modelling world is a lot inspired by your work.
You strive for the best, but you are not over the top, you are pragmatic and your down-to-earth approach gets things done. You should be proud and heartened by that. What I have enjoyed most on your blogs is the "building a kit" series. They have really inspired me. So why don't you try a simple wagon build to show step by step on here.. people like me are very eager to see that.
And please don't for one minute think about stopping the I said, it's my daily fix...

Keith G said...

Hi Phil
Your blog is one of the first things I read every day as it's always the bright spot before hearing the other news. I'm sorry that you are feeling uninspired at the moment especially as you have been, and continue to be, such an inspiration to others. You always post amusing, interesting and informative articles.
I attended your Worksop at Dillington House a few years ago and it rekindled my lost enthusiasm for modelling. Your ability to show what can be achieved with even the most basic skills, and your willingness to share your knowledge, has inspired many people. I am sure that when we can return to shows you will have many more new friends and modellers. The renewed interest in the hobby market is in no small part due to you.
You will have inspired many people to create a small corner of an imaginary world where there is no pandemic, the sun always shines and life is as it should be. Please don't give up.
And if you could design a teleporter so that I could send you some virtual cake........!!

Anonymous said...

The time of year, the temperature, the damp feeling in the air, the restriction of doing things that we take for granted etc are all reasons to feel depressed and I think that we all do.

My "remedy" is to think what I would most like to think that I had done once summer arrives. It might be a model boat or a railway item or .......... It might even be earning a few brownie points getting that job done that you have been putting off. After that you will be delighted to get back to any modelling!

Woz said...

G'day Phil,

I had a bit of a chuckle when I read this, I went through his a few years ago & yes what other hobbies are as interesting as model railways.
When the mojo isn't happening I find research comes to the fore & being a New South Wales (Australia) modeller there are plenty of books, magazines (since the mid 1960s) along with museum publications,
From this it prompts me to contact other modellers for their knowledge & also knowing ex-train drivers being elderly gents keeps me in touch with them & they enjoy sharing their stories too.

During my downtime I went to a mates house of whom I have known since 1988 & used to exhibit his layout with him has a couple of regular groups.
1 every Tuesday night & 1 once a month on a Saturday night.
I have been a regular at both since then & the comradeship is awesome & as he knows people from all over Australia & the world most requires info is at hand.

The day I first went over to his house a few years ago I rang before hand as he could be anyhere & he was hosting an interstate group (3 states & 1 Territory).
I stayed longer than I anticipated because I hit it off with the group.

This is my 3rd year of an N Scale Club & 2nd as Secretary as my predecessor had unexpectedly passed away. I was also 1 of 9 founding members of the Club in 1988 when I first met this chap.
I stayed in the Club for about 5 years then changed scales, so it was the same passion in a different size & then recently had an interest in N Scale again hence getting in touch with him.

During Covid times here we missed a few meetings but nothing like what you guys are experiencing.

I know with you being in several clubs having regular meetings can be inspirational or a drag a times but what I am suggesting is that you find like minded people nearby, say within an hour during peak-hour times & socialize.
We talk about anything & everything & show off your latest creation also getting honest feedback & not waiting for a Club meeting or Show.

Fiddle Yard 01 on Youtube has an inspirational way of doing a fiddle yard, it has only been posted recently.
I don't know this person or even where in the world they are.

I too really enjoy your Blog daily & read it after work being on the other side on the planet.
Hang in there as life is a roller-coaster of emotions & like I tell my 27 year old Son, when I wake up I look forward to the next disappointment being in whatever form that is, haa hhaaa.

Cheers Woz
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

SteveH said...

Chin up Phil, I always look forward to reading your blog and like to see what you have been up to. Although I think January and February are often the hardest months to get through, all the seasons have their plus points. Sitting in front of the fire with a pile of books and magazines with cake a mug of coffee dreaming of times to come is always a pleasure. I use the time to make models that I know I will need for the summer months ahead for my new layout. Spring is around the corner, the snowdrops are in profusion and the bluebells and daffs are not far behind. As soon as the weather warms a little, the birds will be singing and the hedgerows will turn green.

Please keep modelling. I have had the jab and I am sure there will be exhibitions and good times not too far away now. Keep well and stay safe and I hope to see you again soon

Bill L said...

Perhaps it’s because there isn’t a clear divide between your day to day work and your hobby. If you need inspiration just turn on the TV, that’s enough to drive anyone do something else. Recent news is more encouraging, even the IOM seems to be thinking about easing it’s border policy, or am I just fantasising?

Matthias Wiesmann said...

I feel something similar, a general tiredness and lack of enthusiasm. One thing that works for me is to work on smaller things, to have a shorter positive feedback loop, and trying new things (in my case electronics), to get back that beginner's enthusiasm.

Howard said...

Phil...just like others who have commented...yours is one of the blogs I go to every morning without fail...You can’t give up...there will be a big hole in my daily fix of modeling, tools, techniques, interesting videos and cake!...we all have creative slumps...tomorrow will be brighter...hang in there...please...that blog topic that reaches out and grabs you is right around the corner...
Howard...across the pond in Florida, USA...

Phil Parker said...

Thanks very much for all the kind comments so far - they are really appreciated.

I've lined u posts for next week and will try to think of some for the future. Oddly, the one area that seems to be going well is the Saturday Film Club. I've those lined up for a few weeks!

One suggestion via e-mail is for Blog Flashbacks - would they be interesting? I'm thinking a photo or two of a project, bit of text and link to the category?

Anyway, thanks again. Now back to work!

Carol Flavin said...

Phil. From the first time I met you at Warley in 2019 I have been inspired by your enthusiasm and love of the hobby. You are obviously a people person and like so many others, the isolation and sameness is getting to you. Don’t be despondent - too many people would miss you if you didn’t do what you do. Chin up. I will persuade Jill to make one of her spectacular cakes for you next time the Locoladies get the chance to meet up with you again. All the best. Carol x

Huw Griffiths said...

I was beginning to wonder if I was alone in losing motivation - and encountering "mission creep" - with a "cake box" entry.

It turns out that I'm in company - lots of it.

However, I don't intend to go into all the boring details here - I don't even want to spell everything out in the RMweb cakebox zone, unless / until I also have progress worth posting. Thankfully, some people have managed to get somewhere with their cakeboxes, so there's still a challenge.

The flashbacks could be interesting - especially if you (or someone else) have since revisited the projects concerned.

Otherwise, do you have any old photos of buildings / details which could make for interesting models? I wonder if some of these might make for interesting posts if you run out of other ideas.

As for searching for modelmaking motivation for myself, I'm starting to think in terms of looking at areas / channels I haven't previously explored.

In my case, this might mean one of the gauge / interest groups that appear at some of the big shows I'm really missing. A number of these seem to have online resources - which often seem to include plans, old magazines and stuff like that. (Whether any societies would want me as a member is not for me to decide.)

Anonymous said...

Keep going Phil, I've read your blog for years and even have some of the stuff printed out.

One thing I like in motor sport magazines is when people look back at stuff that happened with the benefit of time. At the time they had to say 'Well the car was great we were just unlucky not to win', whereas years later they can reveal 'Actually the car was a dog and the suspension was about to collapse on the next lap'.

Perhaps there are some things you can look back at and give us a fresh perspective?

Dave (first ever comment btw!)

James Finister said...

Apparently, we are all hitting the "lockdown wall" It is certainly how I feel.

To be fair I've never been a Winter modeller. I like working by natural light, and I'm most creative in the evenings.

But I think another key point is most of us fit natural breaks into life that lockdown is obscuring. And by breaks I include anything that briefly gets us to change routines and remotivate us. Wehn I was travelling a lot I found time away from the workbench was ideal to think through practical issues, then I would come back and execute the solution.

matt scrutton said...

I get it Phil. I've been solidly plugging through gauge one jobs and I've suddenly got a lot of rolling stock I can't actually use at the moment.