Lately, I've been in a "creative rut" where I am just not motivated to do much of anything. It is not that I'm not getting work done or not working on projects - it mostly has to do with being passionate about what I'm working on. Below is a recent situation that I have been in and wanted to share with the group.
One of the courses I was designing really had me amp'd up and excited about what I was designing. I had the storyboards. I had the course map all created and ready to go. I had done my research and found a ton of resources, articles, and resources for the students. I was so excited about presenting my research and my design to the course lead who would be teaching the course. Until... dun, dun, dun... I hit a major roadblock.
First Struggle: I met with the course lead who informed me that another person was designing the same course and that the course lead was interested in using the best "design" for the course moving forward. Now, I'm all for motivating someone by a good old design challenge. However, I am not for being told after the fact that, "Oh hey, so and so is also working on this course and I'm waiting to see which design works best." That to me is disheartening. It made me feel like all of the work I did wasn't what the lead wanted or needed for the course.
Second Struggle: Okay - so, I've finally got over the fact that another person is working on the same course (may I add this person has a completely different goal in mind for the course and doesn't have the best track record when it comes to instructional design). I'm finally in competition mode and am looking forward to this 'design' off - if you will. I try to set up a meeting with the lead to discuss the main project and the direction that I want to take. During the meeting, I was asked if I stole this other person's idea about the direction of the main project. Now mind you, this is actually the second time this course lead has asked me if I stole someone's work. I inform the course lead that I have actually yet to meet with my competition regarding the course. I haven't talked with them at all. So, I'm a bit on the defensive already. I take a big deep breath and continue my conversation with them about the course. The lead seems excited about the direction of the major project and we leave on a good note - minus the fact that I've now had to defend my actions or work more than once.
Third Struggle: Now, I've been informed that the lead instructor doesn't want to even see the course design I've developed. They are no longer interested in the direction of my work or what I wanted to present to them. The lead does, however, want me to review my competitions work and make it better so that it can run in the fall. So, now I'm frustrated beyond belief. I lost a battle I didn't know I was in. I'm expected to update and revamp a course developed by someone else and present new ideas (that may or may not have already been designed in my version of the course). I have an obligation to finish out my course design but I'm not motivated to do so. My frustration has now overpowered all of my motivation and creative ideas for this course.
Who Cares: Why did I share this story with the group? Welp, it is because not all instructional design situations are awesome. I know no person who goes into work each and every day and does not hit some sort of roadblock or disheartening situation. I think a lot of times (especially with social media the way it is) we all have this misconception that everyone's lives are better than ours. Oh, that person has an awesome job. Oh, that person continues to get awards. Oh, that person is always so happy and motivated to come to work. I think we need to discuss and learn from those stories that are not necessarily told.
Therefore, I told my story in hopes that someone reads it and understands it is not always rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes it storms like hell and you got to push through it. In my situation, I need to dig deep and find some motivation to knock my course design out of the park. It may be that I look at the potential students as motivation. Whatever my motivation is - I need to find it.
Until next time,