One question that often comes up on twitter discussions with the #warmongers is how do you build and maintain hobby momentum? After a hard day at work, looking after kids, cooking meals, making time for the missus, how do you focus energy on hobby in the small amount of time you have left?
It’s a very difficult question to answer, largely because the answer varies so very much from person to person. Its especially true between gamers and hobbyists!
As I can’t answer for everyone, I thought I’d answer for me! How do I maintain my hobby enthusiasm?
I think the main way, for me, is immersing myself in the fluff. Read The Gildar Rift? Come away wanting to paint Silver Skulls! Flick through a new marine codex? Get inspired to finish off the old Imperial Fists!
I also find looking at the pictures of other people’s minis on twitter hugely inspiring. I’m never going to be a Golden Demon winner, so some of the top end stuff can just seem mindblowing, but its seeing successful techniques on #WIPWednesday, and the continual progress of others knocking out minis really makes me want to paint more, and try new methods.
A good sneaky way is to try to have a longer term goal. I’ll probably go up to Sheffield around my brothers birthday, and we’ll try to get a game in – having a new painted army for the event is a great goal that keeps me motivated! I loved painting up my Sisters of Battle command squad for #WAACPainting – thankfully I started early enough so I didn’t feel pressured. Those sort of deadlines work for me if they are far enough away. Trying to paint up a unit for a game next week? Too much stress, and I won’t enjoy it. I might get it done, but hobby enthusiasm for next time will be down.
I try not to force hobby too, but have a rule with myself that in my available hobby time, I must do something hobby related. Can’t face painting marines? Get Space Marine running on the Xbox 360. Can’t face painting Tyranids? Pop Aliens on the telly! It means that next time I’ll have recharged enthusiasm, and don’t feel that my limited hobby time has been “wasted” by doing something completely different either!
Finally, I find a real key is to have 1 to 3 models on the paint table that really aren’t for gaming – just purely for hobby and painting fun. I try to paint these to my very best standard, not churning out a unit or gang for the tabletop. And I try new techniques – different shades or paints, different ways of blending, different ways of doing eyes. It feels like my abilities progress more with these, and I don’t feel the pressure of getting them done like I do with game minis. And often I find I can use them for something unusual like an inquisition warband, or something fairly accessible like Open Combat.
I hope that helps someone – its certainly helped me think about maintaining my enthusiasm through 2015, which is never a bad thing!