I need my hit of guilt!

Continuing on with what I am identifying as the four types of motivation, I will outline the third type. Now I imagine this will cause some eyebrows to be raised, and I also think that there will be some that may disagree with me, but so be it.


Type 3: Motivation by Guilt

  • Situation 1 – So you have your idea, and it has been living exclusively (or should I say reclusively?) in your head for sometime now. You have told yourself a number of times that you are going to make your film, and it is going to be awesome! You might have even managed to hammer out some concept art, and boarded a sequence or two. But for some reason, you never really make a real effort to kick start your film into full production mode.
  • Situation 2 – You are part way though the production of your film, and you have run out of juice. You have squeezed every last bit of inspiration from your mind, and soaked up as much external inspiration as you can, but the engine now fails to turn over like it used to. Everything starts to become a bit of a chore now, and you maybe even are questioning why you are doing this in the first place.


Well, what you may be in need of is motivation by guilt. This most commonly works when you first go out try to tell as many people as possible that you are making a film, a great film, a revolutionary film. A film so good, that when it’s released, critics around the world will be singing your praises! And I mean tell everyone, your family, your friends, your hairdresser, your plumber, the weird old man that you see every day at the bus stand. After a little while, you begin to hear all of these people ask you how your film is going. You might tell the first couple of people that it is going well, even though you are fully aware that you have been playing Bejeweled for 8 nights in a row, and have not worked on your film the entire time. You may even be satisfied thinking that it is ok to be telling this white lie to just a few people, but you know very well that saying so causes a little bit of guilt. But then when more and more people continue to ask how your film is going, this guilt builds up more and more, and starts to turn into something more darker.


As the 17th day since you have worked on your film rolls around, you realise that it is getting harder and harder to be content with lying to others and yourself that your film is still going well, Hopefully you may start to feel like you are not just letting yourself down, but by some strange connection, you will be letting others down too. Insomuch as if you don’t finish the film and become famous, you will be denying them the eventual opportunity to tell other people that they know someone famous!


So now there is a lot more riding on this film, and you realise that you now have to deliver, if only so that your grandmother can boast to her friends at bingo that her grandchild is screening a film in some arty film festival in a far away country where actual foreigners will be watching it. At that point, you pause the game of Bejeweled you are in the middle of playing, and shout out “For Grandmother!” (then you quickly finish the game of Bejeweled you were in the middle of, because there still may be a chance that this game might be the one). But once that game finished, you then start opening up your project files once again. As you then continue working on your film well into the night, only now do you realise that this was the only way to make the guilt that has been building inside you go away. You are now happy with the fact that this guilt, err, guilted you into overcoming what ever motivational block that was in your way before.

3 Responses to “I need my hit of guilt!”

  1. Hi there !
    I discovered your website now and I went through that reflexion of guilt that you have … that is indeed my biggest matter, ideas, will but laziness is my worst enemy. Now that you mentioned thinking about people around you, I find that very interesting ! Maybe the first step in stop talking and acting more ? I hope so … Thanks for the read mate.

  2. For what it’s worth, I brag about you all the time. 🙂
    Particularly the bit about getting an orchestral score for your film – so awesome.

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