The problems with instant gratification

It's pretty obvious that I've been a terrible blogger this past year. And in the past month I've been non-existent. It's not like my life has changed much in the past few years to excuse my absence, and yet absent I was. I think a lot of it can be attributed to a shift in my attention: away from things that take a lot of time to set up, plan, execute, organize and complete. You know, like blogging, photography, cooking, and writing extensive novels.

And it's not that I don't enjoy the process, because at times I still do. I still get pride when I really nail a food styling session, or make headway on a book. It's just that the external rewards for completing these tasks are so few and far between that they don't motivate me to keep going.

When I worked at a job where I spent all day on my computer, I had nothing better to do than blog and comment on other people's blogs, read up on photography and food styling, and work on my social media presence. I had a lot more blog traffic, and I would get comments on things I spent time on, making me feel good about myself. I'm a sucker for positive reinforcement. 

Things have slowed down almost to a complete stop. I can go 6 months before someone comments on my blog, traffic is down, and the only excuse I have is that I'm not putting in the effort. I feel stupid for being so bitter about it, but it's like, why put in the effort when no one reads it or cares?

So I guess I've been in a funk. My motivation has been lacking, and I can't convince myself to strive for something when the reinforcement isn't a given outcome. Like in...

Video games. 

My brain feeds off of accomplishing goals and being rewarded for them. And it turns out that leveling up or beating a boss is a fucking fantastic way of making me feel good. At the end of the day, I might feel better about my life if I created a gorgeous recipe with stunning pictures and wrote a witty blog post. But I'll be happier and have more fun if I play four hours of video games, level up twice, and unlock a new part of the map.

Games are FULL of goals that I can achieve. I might not be able to breeze through a boss battle in one go, but I can walk around an area and do repetitive tasks that bring me closer to getting money, weapons, achievements, trophies, and other fun things.

And now I'm babbling about video games. Therein lies the problem. But the point of this post is to remind myself that I can write, and that I should keep cooking and posting recipes. At least so that I don't succumb fully to the dark void that is video games.

Stay tuned for new recipes coming up!

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