Monday, September 12, 2016

Return of the Hobby Funk

It was bound to happen sooner or later, considering my hobby activities of the last couple of years, but I have officially fallen into a bit of a funk with the hobby.  It is a thing that happens to many of us but for me it has been several years since I have felt like this.

I have a general lack of excitement for just about all aspects of the hobby.  I have managed to get in a bunch of games this year and have had fun playing but for whatever reason I don't feel excited about playing.  Even planning for a game fails to get me excited about playing.  The lack of consistent games or long term plans related to a game might be part of the issue but who knows?

The same is true of hobby related purchases.  Generally, I look forward to planning projects and acquiring the models but lately I have had little motivation to purchase and this is likely do to a lack of focus.  I just don't have any real compelling plans to keep me excited.  It is true that I have some big projects in the works but for the most part the models have already been collected.  This brings me to...

...painting.  My painting production has been way off this year.  I seem to be caught between doing what I want and doing what I need to do.  Nothing really new here except I don't know what I want to do and the things I 'need' to do I don't really think they will pan out.  This lack of painting activity has impacted the blog as it is mostly focused on the painting aspect of the hobby.

What to do about this?  How do I get my gaming 'Mojo' back?  In the past I have just stopped working on anything that I felt I needed to do and just grabbed the first models that got my attention and started painting.  I am not sure this time around that will be of much help.

I am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with games and potential projects.  So far this year my gaming has been spread over 9 different game systems with 2-3 others that I would like to play but have not yet found the time for.  In addition I have been tempted by several new games that I have managed to resist getting involved with.  Add to that 2-3 new games coming down the pipe that I have some interest in and things are clearly getting out of control.  In the past my gaming has been much more focused on 3-4 games systems total which helped keep all aspects of the hobby pointed in the same direction.  This lack of focus on the game side has translated to the painting and purchasing side of the hobby.

The question remains - what do I do about this?  Another approach I have taken in the past would be to look to my game friends for inspiration and focus.  Unfortunately, many of them are just as flighty with their game projects and many are even worse.

Maybe I need to de-emphasize an aspect of the hobby such as purchasing, painting or playing.  The purchasing part seems like the obvious place to start.  If you have no motivation for any particular project then there is nothing to buy...or maybe there is.  I just made a deal to day to buy some cast-off items from a friend.  It was a good deal and there is certainly potential that these items will be used but none of it helps me regain my hobby focus.  No am I not sure I can stop buy stuff in a general sense.

My painting has really slowed down this year so maybe stopping for a while would be the ticket.  The problem with that approach is that I see this hobby as mostly a modeling and painting hobby so stopping that aspect is like giving up on the hobby.  If I stopped painting completely I would be very likely to give up the hobby completely and that is something I am not prepared to do.

That leaves playing games.  Ironically, this is the area I have had the most fun this year.  I am averaging a game a week so far this year and I have really enjoyed the games while I was playing them.  I am not sure having LESS fun is a good therapy.

There you have it.  I am in a bit of a funk and I don't know what to do about it.  Whine and complain I guess.  At this point I am open to suggestions but I will likely just have to let this run it's course.

10 comments:

ChrisLS said...

I totally understand. I've definitely gone through that a bit myself, and it usually has to do with being overwhelmed, either with the games themselves or just life in general.

From you are saying, it sounds like you're overwhelmed with everything you're expecting of yourself from a gaming perspective. 9 systems?!? That's nuts, particularly for a hobby gamer. I'd say try to whittle down your participation to no more than 3 systems and focus on getting the most out of them. See which ones have active communities and go with those, or if there is something you are really excited about and want to try to build a community, then go with that, but then I'd say stick with just that one system.

Best of luck, I know how it feels to have that kind of empty stop in your life without the hobby to fill it.

Tim Kulinski said...

Rob,

Perhaps you need to look at another hobby, like building a model car or something like that. You mock me about Model Railroading, but its a nice distraction to the gaming hobby. So maybe think about something along those lines, Hell man, when was the last time you picked up your sketch book and did some drawing?

I think part of it is that your spread out over too many game systems, I know that is how I feel from time to time. That's one reason I am not jumping into KoW right now, I don't think I have the bandwidth to do it. So maybe you should simplify your games back down to a more manageable number. Doesn't mean you have to get rid of any, just try to make an effort about what you want to play.

Dagreenskins said...

I am in the same boat, too many cool games and not enough time to collect, build and paint. I am now just focusing on Warlord, Mantic and Battle Front Games. I only get to play one day a week and just want to play games that I enjoy with people I like. I hope you get out of your funk and you get back to what you like, gaming.

Courtney Hollyoake said...

I am constantly in the same sort of funk. I never seem to want to paint and when I do it's only for a few hours so never really make much progress. I'm more than happy to build stuff and I don't game.

What about trying something out of your comfort zone to build/paint/play? I'm not very good with conversions or scratch building but am trying my hand at some at the moment. Or how about a splash purchase, like a ForgeWorld item that you've been eyeing up?

I came up with a painting reward system that helped for a while. For everything I finished painting, I would reward myself with 1/4 of that models monetary value to go towards something else.

Robert Brightwell said...

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. For now I think I will just work on some old projects without any concern for their usefulness. I will likely need to drop a few game projects but it will take some time to decide.

Tom O said...

I have been trying to focus (easier said than done) on things I want to do...it is "my" hobby afterall, just like it is "your" hobby. Do what makes you happy...that is the key...this is supposed to be enjoyable, and not work or a tedious task. I always find that finishing a project so I can feel that I have completed something helps me get into a good frame of mind. You'll figure it out.

Tom O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Derocher said...

Tom , said it best do what makes you happy. I think you should give me your Vikings , that will make me happy. Good luck Rob.

Neal Smith said...

Go to a convention! That is usually what gets me motivated! You need to BS about gaming with other gamers! It can also get your eyes wandering (e.g. gladiators for me!) so be careful out there! :)

I have had to force myself to stick with just two "periods" (28mm WW2 CoC not BA and Dropzone Commander) over the past year or so, just to keep my focus going. One of those "periods" (DzC) I'm not even currently playing any games of... :)

If you are like me, you have lots of half finished things (a tank, a terrain piece, etc.) lying about... Pick one and finish it! That helped me get back on my current painting "binge"! It's been really great since!

Oh, one more thing... Put down the video/computer/app games... That's a time sink if I ever saw one... :)


Good Luck!

Randy Burnett said...

I'm just the opposite right now. Finally, since moving here, I feel like there is some focus. I've got a couple of things that will keep me busy for the foreseeable future. I'm more excited than I have been in a few years. Goals have been set which always helps me stay on track. Certain systems that I don't care for as much aren't really part of my paradigm right now. And the other stuff laying around that doesn't get much table time can just lay there.