Chris Tomlin

How do you guys deal with hobby burnout/overload?

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Afternoon all,

I've been a bit quiet of late, in part that's due to things being a lot busier at work (which is where I get my TGA time in) and also more recently I've been experiencing what I'd describe as Hobby Burnout, though perhaps Hobby Overload is a better term.

Firstly, I'll give a bit of background on why I'm feeling this way...

I put out a weekly AoS Podcast (The Black Sun) which takes up way more time to do than the layman would appreciate, I also record for another Podcast, Age of Sigbrah, every other week. So before we talk actual hobby, podcasting itself takes up a lot of my time for very little in return (not that I do it for personal gain or whatever, it's just a fact it's a time and money sink though).

Then I'm finding myself all over the place with which army I'm meant to be working on or playing with at the moment. I love my Ironjawz and have done alright with them (given that they are Ironjawz!), but have longed to see whether I'm actually any good at this game by trying a stronger force. I assembled and sold a Disciples of Tzeentch army before picking up Slyvaneth with the intent of taking them to the South Coast Grand Tournament. On top of that I have start to gather bits for a Phoenix Temple army and am considering getting this made and painted for SCGT instead!! The issues here are new army on top of the wacky battleplans probably doesn't equate to the decent finish I'd like...so then maybe I'm just better off sticking to what I know and not pressuring myself to not only paint a new army, but also do well with it.

I'm also pretty deflated after a great weekend running my 54 player tournament, Tomorrow Burns. I guess after being on that tournament high and buzzing all weekend, crashing back to the mundane is gonna be a downer whichever way you look at it! Reality sucks and all that.

Basically I just spend a bunch of time doing loads of hobby related things without seemingly achieving anything and put a load of pressure on myself to do so I guess. I don't expect sympathy whatsoever as I get that it's all stuff I *choose* to do...however maybe there is some understanding here (that I wouldn't get from normal people who just don't get it!)?

My thinking was to do nothing hobby related whatsoever this week. Just take a step back from it all and chill out. It was nice enough doing that last night, but in all honesty I struggle to just switch off.

I appreciate this reads like a 15yr old emo MySpace page (probs a fair comparison tbh! ;)), but just wanted to hear some of your thoughts...other people must get like this from time to time. I know there's countless people here who are fully immersed in this hobby; what do you guys do when it all catches up with you?

I think the sensible choice is probably just to take Ironjawz to SCGT and spend April doing other things!

There we go...very cathartic. Thanks for reading,
Chris

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Posted (edited)

I can't say much about burnout/fatigue in this hobby, but I can about other hobbies that are somewhat similar.

Long story short: A short time off often helps. Just do nothing related to that hobby for a week or two. And then, more importantly: Start SLOW again. Many people create a HUGE backlog and every time they want to go back to that hobby they see that immense pile of stuff to do, and that's when the depression really hits again. So organize it, pick a few small tasks to begin with, to get into the hobby again.

That's what I do, and for me it works. Sometimes it didn't, that's the hobbies that I didn't really continue. I have many interests and sometimes it is hard to split my time up for them. Having family doesn't make it easier either. But for the important ones you will find _some_ time. And that's where it comes in as really important to have a plan, and small chunks of tasks to get started again. :)

Edited by Aginor
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7 minutes ago, Chris Tomlin said:

I think the sensible choice is probably just to take Ironjawz to SCGT and spend April doing other things!

 

Do this. I tend to get hobby burn out often because I go from not doing a lot due to work and family to assembling and painting an army in a few days. So my issue is basically time management and I don't manage it very well to enjoy what I'm doing and tend to go on a binge which makes me not enjoy it. For the recent Alliance Event, I just took my standard Destruction list and enjoyed myself as I didn't worry about painting or anything like that and had fun. I'm now trying to find time to sit down and paint some stuff but my issue is what to choose as too much stuff I want to do at the moment!

 

 

 

 

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I think everybody has had a few burnouts in their hobby lifetime and everybody seems to have a different way of dealing with it - you're certainly not on your own with it!  That feeling after a major event is a real kicker and it can be difficult to find enthusiasm for anything.

Personally I've found a bit of a break often helps, normally using my spare time to do things that I've been putting off - watching a film or TV programme that you want to concentrate on (for example a 3d film or something with subtitles).  I'll normally spend a week or so "pootling" and then decide to do something like tidy my hobby area or something related to the hobby.  That normally gives me a bit of enthusiasm to start on a small project of some kind.

Couple of things I'd suggest to avoid.  First off is to pick up an entirely different/new hobby - you'll likey find yourself in six months having just ploughed your time into something else (high time investment computer games like Elite Dangerous or WoW are my achilles heel).  The biggest one is to not force yourself into doing something model related.

Taking your Ironjawz to SCGT makes a whole lot of sense - no pressure to cram in last minute painting, just turn up and have a bit of a laugh.

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I'm the opposite, finding zero time because I have so many uni commitments, and have achieved a similar level of catharsis there by venting too. Definitely take the advice to go slow.

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For what it's worth, I really like your podcast. Many much thanks for doing those!!! But if you find them too much, back off for awhile.

I think taking a week or so off would do wonders and by all means take those Ironjawz to SCGT. Orruks start to do... weird things when left alone too long.

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I had a burnout recently before getting back into things again, I think the main thing is not to force yourself to do the hobby, because it makes you resent doing any of it full stop and it will become more than just burnout. Just try and take your time with things and never structure it into a time table, just do it randomly when you feel like it.

Another thing that impacts me at least is not having to many models awaiting paint, with money being tighter for me at the moment it makes the amount I have to do a lot more manageable and I haven't got to a stage where it becomes either a daunting or overwhelming for me in a long time. Probably the best way of dealing with it though is to just sell stuff your clearly not going to use.

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Posted (edited)

I had the burnout after Realm Hoppers, you might have noticed me drop off for a few weeks. During Jan and Feb, I painted 3 1k armies and also the prep for the narrative event took way more than I thought. That along with keeping up with the blog too, just burnt me. I took a 2 week break and then got back on it. By the end of the 2 weeks I was buzzing to do something, so start fyreslayers. Now I am franticly painting again, building display board for SCGT and burning out again! So advice to take it slow on return is good. 

Take Ironjawz to SCGT and unwind for a few weeks, get some fresh air, i.e. go out more and you'll feel a million times better.

PS - This Coming from a fellow Myspace Emo ;) 

Edited by HobbyHammer
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Like @DynamicCaloriesI've also had the opposite problem. Too much enthusiasm, nowhere near enough time - bought far too many DoT models. Definitely not going to buy 6 airships like a muppet....

I would stick with the Ironjawz - last thing you'll need is a mad dash to get another army ready in less than a month for SCGT.

Both podcasts are going strong. When I get a chance to paint - they're awesome to listen to.

 

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My hobby is mainly painting and modelling with an occasional game and occasional tournament. That said I spend almost every moment of the day thinking about the hobby, next projects, next purchases, lists, lists, lists, paint schemes and this (even though I find this hobby fun and at times a great comfort) can be a burden in itself. I get a sort of hobbyists guilt E.G. What could I be doing that is more worthwhile? What am I doing with my life?! Haha. Oh well. Back to dreaming about Kharadron Overlords whilst feeling simultaneously regretful for having started a Nurgle army.

"I should have told yer, that the things that you love start to own yer!"

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You want Kharadron but have Nurgle? We're in the same boat cesspit!

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Posted (edited)

I'm like one of the girls of Sex and the City. 

When I'm sad with my army/models/etc... I just go online and buy more.
Models are my chocolate ice-cream.

Expensive, chocolate ice-cream, that instead of going to the hips, go to the shelves.

Edited by Galas
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First off I'm a huge fan of the podcast. Have been for a very long time. But I don't think anyone would blame you if you decided to go fortnightly for a while so it leapfrogged with age of sigbrah (where I think you fit so well btw)

Also I think it's nice you've tried the sylvaneth, and from the last episode clearly enjoyed the reliable power of it. But I think your just trying to fill a void that won't really satisfy you.

Your ironjawz are wonderful. And you've gotten to a point where adding extra isnt really a magor concern as youve got most bases covered. So you maybe feel it's time to do something new but nothing feels quite right. 

Honestly from listening to you for so long I don't think any army will do it untill the shadow elves of malerion are finally here. And I for one can't wait to see what you'll be doing with those.  

I think everyone else has it right. Take the Ironjawz. Give krunk a shot at greatness. Relax and enjoy it. 

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15 minutes ago, DynamicCalories said:

You want Kharadron but have Nurgle? We're in the same boat cesspit!

I can solve the problem, just send me your Nurgle stuff!

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I've quit the hobby twice over burnout.  (and obviously came back each time)

I don't play one game system constantly.  

I avoid overly competitive play that usually features the same armies going at it over and over.

I actively pursue playing with scenarios and a mix of scenarios other than the "core-six".

I play a system for a few months a year and then shelve it.  This is typically a campaign in one system, then I move to a different system.  Example: this year we have our 40k campaign going until May, I'm doing Blood Bowl, and in Summer our AOS campaign fires off and lasts until the fall, where we wrap up with a shorter Blood Bowl world-cup style tournament.

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It's all about cycles of energy, zero mercy reduced hobby budget, and realistic expectations.

Paint what you feel like, when you feel like it.  Want to switch projects midway?  SWITCH!  Someday you'll switch back.  Or not.

Don't buy the newest filth just because it's the newest filth.  Let aesthetics drive your choices at all times.

Have a finished army?  Play with it for a while, while your other projects meander toward completion, even if it is outclassed by the newest filth.

Basically, just take it easy and do as much as you want to.

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Posted (edited)

54 minutes ago, BrocknerTheBear said:

First off I'm a huge fan of the podcast. Have been for a very long time. But I don't think anyone would blame you if you decided to go fortnightly for a while so it leapfrogged with age of sigbrah (where I think you fit so well btw)

This. Why the pressure to do something weekly? Who's putting that pressure on you? I'd wager it's only yourself? 

Also a fan, but your new episodes have almost all been longer than you originally thought? 

And I would take your ironjawz. You're just going to kill yourself otherwise. Youll be onto 40k next ;)

Edited by TerrorPenguin
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Our brains goto autopilot when we continually repeat the same thing again and again. Sometimes doing something simple differently can stimulate it and reignite the spark or provide inspiration eg take a different route to work, read a different author - you may see something and 💡 You see a poster that inspires you to paint a different scheme.

I work in a creative agency and we recommend this to all our staff when block or burnout happens, it can be surprisingly effective

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There actually appear to be a number of directions to go here., depending on the level of burnout. 

Tired of painting a certain army? Paint a different one.   Or chunk paint with a reward at the end (of I paint 500 points of X, I get to... go see this movie,  or go out to dinner, or *insert other reward here*

Tired of painting a certain game?  Switch to something completely different.  I do this every time I finish a project.   Before picking up another AoS mini,  I'll knock out a 40 squad.  Or a Batman Miniatures Game crew (typically 7-12 models). 

Tired of painting in general? Catalogue your backlog.   Organize your books.   Build a piece of terrain. 

Not tired of painting,  but a marathon session overwhelming your will?  Set a 15 minute alarm.  Every time it goes off,  stop and do 10 push ups.   Or 10 sit ups.  Or jog on place for 30 seconds.   I've started doing this recently and I can tell you,  you feel reengaged... and your body appreciates the movement. 

Just tired? Time to go play Breath of the Wild. 

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Completely natural to be feeling burnout. Everyone gets it sometimes. 

 

The thing I need to remind myself sometimes is that it's just a hobby and that I should treat it as such. Because I love it, its easy to get carried away and want to buy everything, take it seriously and spend more and more time doing it. If I do get carried away then it becomes more like a job, it's stress and I stop enjoying it. 

Leave yourself wanting more. Then you'll continue to enjoy it 

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When I was experiencing 40k burn out a few years ago I jumped into Xwing. I still got to play a game but I had to do zero prep and modelling in order to get that done, so there was no pressure (plus the game itself is cheap and easy to pick up but with a lot of tactical depth). Also its Star Wars. It also freed me up to slowly work on my painting because I felt no rush to meet any sort of deadline and I could be a little more creative (this only slightly backfired because I now have a higher standard of painting so painting my backlog of 200 guardsman and 150 Clanrats is going to be rough). Interesting enough playing a tightly designed game also made me appreciate balance which ultimately led me here to Sigmar when I experienced rule burnout with 40k (I can only deal with so many 2+ rerollable saves on T9 models before I give up) Currently I am extremely happy with Sigmar and am hoping for the future of 40k. 

 

Moral of the story is take a break. Possibly go hiking, maybe even a museum or 2. 

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I know the feeling well and it's usually when I have too many projects on the go, or the current projects are all just too large and the end goal too far away (completing entire armies etc). I recommend putting all your painting projects away for the moment and picking up a single model not related to anything and just painting it up over the course of 2 or so weeks. Lavish detail on it, go all out and never get tired of having to repeat a step across a production line. If you are going to SCGT with your Ironjawz, you could paint up something for the single miniature painting comp that's not related to any army. I know you love Dark Elves mate, so why not a classic Dark Elf model you've always wanted to - or something like the Mistweaver?

Painting has to be a chore to get armies done, but sometimes you can indulge on a single model and just paint for the sheer joy of it even for a week or two!

 

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I'd just scale it back for a bit mate, stick with the Ironjawz so you can chill a bit. I agree with @bottle, grab a hero or couple minis from a unit that you just love, irrespective of army. A total break from what you're used to painting, it's my strategy.

Also, I definitely wouldn't call running a tourney of any size nothing! Nice one.

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Burnout is normal, and something we as hobbyists will always suffer from, especially when we get to that obsession point. I agree with a lot of the other comments here: take a much deserved break of a week or two, and enjoy it with either another light hobby, going out of the home to enjoy time with friends outside the club, exercise, do whatever it is that's not related to wargaming. At the end of it, come back slow. If you haven't done it before, look at making some terrain, and ignore the AoS armies. Maybe focus the terrain for a display board! Take the Ironjawz and Megaboss Krunk to SCGT, if you still intend to compete. An army you're familiar with, that you know the tactics inside and out will do you better than a new power army that you're learning. Less stress this way.

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