Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tips on Surviving the ICs Hobby Progress Challenge

There were quite a few of us who successfully completed the 2013 Hobby Progress Challenge and it is shaping up to be quite a 2014. We have almost as many people signed up this year as were signed up last year and we haven't even officially started yet!  Participation is very high.  We have a lot of good people, some of them who have recently signed up, who have already been quite helpful to others in working on their challenges.  Kudos to all of you for making the ICs community an even better place to talk about the hobby.

Not only that, but some people have already finished their February commitment!  Here is Jerre's February commitment, a squad of Deathmarks.  Great job, Jerre!  I'll certainly be stealing some ideas for my own Necrons!

Now that a new year has dawned, I wanted to share a few quick tips on working through the Hobby Progress Challenge.  These tips come from my own experience doing the challenge myself and also watching others do it.

Your mileage, of course, may vary for each of these tips.

Discouragement is the Enemy

With a challenge of this magnitude, it's really easy to fall behind.  If you're unable to finish a monthly commitment, look at what you've done.  If you are almost done, then finish it up and move on to the next thing.  If you didn't finish much, set it aside and start something new. Obviously, there was something about that unit which was putting you off.

Do not let depression take you.  It's really easy for some of us to look at a failure and think to ourselves, "Well, I didn't finish that piece, so what's the point in continuing?"  I know that, for most of us who get caught in that trap, this isn't a conscious thought, but it happens.  It's the same thing when OCD people have messy houses; they are so obsessed with doing everything perfectly that when they see the huge amount of work that needs to be done, they shut down.

When this happens, take a deep breath and move on to the next thing.  Don't dwell on it... write off the failure.  The worst that consequence is that you lose one entry in the prize drawing.  That's not the end of the world.  You can come back to it at the end of the challenge.

Save the ICs

Independent Characters are often the easiest to paint.  Now, yes, you are going to do your best work on your ICs, but they still take a lot less time than a squad.  If you are ahead of the game or if you are going on at a reasonable clip, do not paint your ICs. Save them for the end.  You never know when you may need them to bail you out if you are falling behind or have a busy month coming up.   (I'm looking at you, April!)

The Fake-Out

One strategy that I use with myself is to set very simple goals.  For example, if I come home from work at 4:30, I have about an hour and 10 minutes until my wife comes home.  If I can tell myself, "Self, you can get all the boots on these Ork Boyz painted in that time.  You don't have to do anything else.  Just the boots.  That's easy."

"You know what?", I reply, "You're right, self. It's not a big deal. I'll just paint the boots and be happy with today's progress.  Not a big deal!"

Fast forward five hours, the wife is still hungry and I have half the steps done! Genius!

In all seriousness, though, taking a project in bites is a great way to get it finished. Sometimes you will find that you'll have the motivation to do a little bite even if you don't have it for the whole project.  Sometimes you will surprise yourself and get more done than you intended.


Share your progress on a Blog.  Share on the Overlords Facebook page! Share your hobby steps (not just completed models) on your Challenge thread!  We have a really amazing community and people are more than willing to share their thoughts with you.  In time, you'll look forward to their feedback and the anticipation of it will become a motivator in and of itself.

Have the Best Wife Ever

It's really important to have the Best Significant Other Ever.  This may not help you, but I can't help you if you've made poor life choices.  If you have made poor life choices, I strongly recommend the ICs Podcast on Cheating on Your Spouse with 40k.

Sadly, in the End, Just Do It

Buddy sez "I believe in you!"

I'm sorry, but, in the end it all comes down to just doing it.  Believe in yourself and just pull yourself up by your own hobby boot-straps and get it done.  The gratification of a job well done is its own reward.  Jeez! I'm practically making myself sick with all these clichéd platitudes!  Please! Paint some models before it gets any worse!

Do you have any other ideas for keeping motivated?  Leave them in the comments below!

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