So this week I thought I would talk about 2 things that I find really challenging in the miniature wargaming hobby:
- Finding time to invest in the hobby (whether gaming, painting, building, reading etc)
- Keeping motivated to pursue the hobby and avoiding hobby burn out
Both of these topics are things I frequently have to face as part of this hobby and I know that many others like me face similar challenges, frustrations and difficulties as part of this hobby and I am sure those of you with other hobbies face the same challenges.
I will also add an update on what’s been on my painting table.
Finding Time & Losing it
I always find the phrase “finding time” an interesting one. It’s as if there is extra time to be “found ” if only we went looking for it! Unfortunately there is only 24 hours a day and no matter how much “searching” we do we won’t find any more. However having said that, how come some people seem to “find” so much time to do things that I can’t seem to repeat these amazing feats?
I sometime see posts on social media, articles published in White Dwarf magazine, or just in miniature wargaming hobby forums where people seem to accomplish these amazing feats of hobby brilliance that leave me with my jaw hitting the floor. You know the sorts of articles or posts that people leave, something along the lines of:”Managed to complete my 2000pt army within a month to get ready for X tournament” or perhaps “managed to build and paint X number of miniatures this year, all the while managing a home, partner, 3 kids and a dog.”
I sound like I am being a bit flippant and to an extent I am but I sit here as a guy in the latter half of my 20s (where do the years go!?) and I am very blessed to be married to my wonderful wife who puts up with my hobbies and interests (the key is to let the crazy out slow!). I look at these other guys and girls making these posts and I just don’t know where they find the time to do these things as I feel like I have a fairly decent amount of free time and I can’t achieve half the things these guys do! Now some of this may be down to the fact that I can’t paint as quickly or I don’t have a man cave that I can just leave painting stuff out in etc but I don’t think this is the main issue.
I really feel like as I said at the start of the post, the idea of “finding time” is misleading as the time is always there, it is more prioritising your time in the ways you want to depending on what is important to you. Now don’t get me wrong, work, family and other things can take that time away and you can’t avoid that, but how often do you get in from work and just sit down in front of the TV, or play on your games console, or something similar? I know I do it a lot, and it has taken some real discipline from me this year to actually decide, “No, I want to prioritize this hobby right now” and just invest that time into the hobby rather than switching off in front of the TV for an hour or more.
It is something that needs real dedication to make a habit out of as it is so easy to slip back into the old mode. Now I could make excuses that over the past week and a half I have had 2 job interviews (I got the job!) and obviously I have had to invest time there over the hobby, but I have also had lots of time I have not invested when I could have and this weekend I have pushed myself to invest that time I didn’t during the week to get myself back on track.
It is something I have found helpful not only in this hobby but also being a Christian (don’t worry, I am not converting this into a soapbox on my faith). My relationship with God and my faith have been stronger and better when I invest that time so it is something that is transferable to whatever hobby or otherwise activity you get involved in.
Staying Motivated & Avoiding Burnout
I think this topic flows very much out of what I have spoken about above. I think if you continue to invest the time into the hobby it will certainly help you remain motivated and avoid hobby burnout. However I think there are a few other ways to help stay motivated in this hobby as well.
One of these is surrounding yourself with people and spending time with people who are also invested in the hobby. I am very fortunate to have a local gaming club in my village that meets every Monday and they always help me remain motivated and interested in the hobby. Now I can appreciate not everyone is as fortunate as me in this regard. I know before I joined the club I only had one friend who was interested in the hobby and therefore you could go months without playing a game and therefore I wouldn’t paint my models because they were only sitting in the cupboard anyway! So whether it is trying to get your friends interested in the hobby, finding your local club or Friendly Local Gaming Store it is always good to find others that have the same interests to keep you motivated!
Another way is to keep up-to-date with what is going on in the hobby. Now whether you love or hate rumour sites like Bell of Lost Souls, Natfka or any of the others, I find them great to just keep me interested in what is coming up in the hobby and to see what others are saying about the hobby. But whether you visit these kinds of sites, read hobby magazines or spend time on community sites like Warhammer Community, these are all fantastic ways to just keep you motivated and invested in the hobby.
Another way I find helpful is to watch videos on the hobby, whether painting, gaming or podcast style videos, these are great ways to keep interested in the hobby and seeing new ways of playing, painting etc. One site I find fantastic is Miniwargaming. They produce brilliant content 6 days a week on a number of different games, as well as painting and discussion videos as well. Their Vault membership is well worth purchasing and I can’t recommend it highly enough! The narrative campaigns add a really interesting flavour to games, making it not just “build the most powerful list you can” style batreps.
Finally, although I am not particularly a tournament goer myself, I know we had a recent tournament at my local club and although I did not attend this one, it has motivated me to get a list painted for the next one and it has kept me motivated to paint even when I really don’t want to! So perhaps find a local tournament or something similar to motivate yourself to play more games, build more models or paint some more.
Leaving it there…
Overall I think the two topics are both intrinsically linked and one can often lead to the other, but hopefully you can relate to some of what I have said and it will be helpful to you. Do let me know in the comments section if there was anything you found helpful in this article or anything you have done that I didn’t mention that has helped you to find time or remain motivated.
On the Painting Table this week…
So as I mentioned this week I have not put as much time as I would like aside for painting but I did manage to achieve painting 3 (yes 3!) whole models this week!
I really enjoyed painting this guy, especially the bright orange hair and ur-gold etched into his skin. Let me know what you think!
Slightly less exciting and a much more “let’s just get him painted” job but overall pleased with the result. Looking forward to painting his owner over the coming weeks.
Tech Priest Dominus
I spent a little more time on this guy but I am really pleased with the results. Again I know I am not the best painter but I really liked painting him so I hope you like it.
As usual let me know what you think in the comments section below and any questions post them and I will get back to you as soon as I can!