Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Finding your hobby again: Ugh! This is harder then I thought.

So I promised to be in a week, and it's been three.  It was a rough 3 weeks, but I've made a few discoveries in that time.  So sit back and enjoy reading about someone else's struggles to find his hobby again.  I think there are some universal truth's here.

In my last column, Magnus Mercury, pointed out that in his past, when he was tired of something, the best plan for him was to take some time away.  I think there is a truth here, and it's this: if you have to force yourself to do it, it loses the fun.  For years I didn't paint my models.  I don't like to paint, never really have.  Problem is, LXG as a club has a disdain for unpainted models, we like the spectacle of 2 fully painted armies on a fully painted table.  So I've been forcing myself to paint, and guess what: it's not fun.  For me this is a problem, because I will find any number of reasons not to do it.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants their free time to be enjoyable.

The second thing I discovered in the past three weeks is if I'm not inspired to work on a project it won't get done.  Case in point, I have three models to finish in my Colette force for Malifaux, and I just keep putting them off.  I'm just not inspired to get them done.  To compound this problem, I'm holding up projects I do want to work on because I need to get these done.  And that is the crux of the problem there, how often do we as hobbyists made decisions based on what we think "needs to be done"?

And the third thing I discovered?  I am way to easily distracted.  There are a lot of people in this hobby with variations of this problem, but it hinders me from getting stuff done.  I sit down to paint, my friends skype call in to help me with the tedium (that's how I see painting) and I find myself not painting, but looking something up to do with the conversation.  I think I mentioned that I will find reasons not to paint.

So what can I, or anyone, do to try to address these problems?  I have some ideas.  I've been watching these videos, from miniwargaming.  In them Ash has been showing off what's on his painting table.  And I realized something, he has like 4 or 5 different projects in various stages on his painting table at once.  As crazy as it seems, I've never done this.  I was always afraid that I wouldn't finish any of them.  I generally work on one project at a time, thus when a project like the the Colette force doesn't get painted, nothing does.  So here is my plan for the next 2 weeks, I'm going to use my distraction to my advantage.  There are 2 projects not getting done that I'm actually looking forward to.  The first is a Tara box set from Malifaux.  My friends bought me this about a month ago, and I really want to paint it, so I'm going to put some of it together and add it to my painting table.  The other project is my TableScapes table from Secret Weapon Miniatures, and I'm really excited to get it ready to play on.  So that is going on the project table, one tile at a time.  I also have some Dropzone Commander PHR models to get table ready, so there is project #4.  The idea here is that I can be distracted from the stuff I'm less inspired to paint (the Colette force, and the PHR) by the stuff I'm inspired to work on (Tara and TableScapes).  But when one is drying, etc., I'll be productive and work on another.   Also I'm going to take some time to organize my work area, make it as efficient as possible.  I hope this will make my time more productive.  It's the plan anyway.  Wish me luck.

Until next time...


  1. I had to learn to work like this in art classes in college. There was no time to not work on any given day, so I kept a dozen projects going at once. It gives you the freedom not only to say "I feel like working on this project today", but also to say "You know, I can only handle basecoating today" or "I feel really in the zone- I'm ready for some detailing." Once you get used to it, it really helps productivity. Good luck!

    1. I can second being in the "mood" for a particular aspect of the hobby. Sometimes I'm really keen on cleaning up and priming a bunch of figures, but I'm not looking to paint anything. Other times, I just want to paint and not deal with all the prep work, so I'll look through my figures for something ready to go.

  2. Sorry I never showed you this trick I guess. That's why I have a Project Shelf. Sure, some of those models have been there over a year, but nothing actually goes more than maybe 90 days without getting touched in some way, and it lets me modulate what I'm working on- not only for color or style, but also for scale. Give it a shot!