5 Ways for Course Creators to Stay Motivated

Afraid it might take too long to finish your course and you’ll lose interest? Here are some tips to make sure you get to the finish line.

For a course creator, perfectionism is the root of all evil and indecisiveness is her equally evil twin.  I know this because this is where I hover a majority of the time.  Here I am during my course creation process:

  • Is this the right blue? Maybe I’ll tweak it a little bit, again for the 100th time.
  • This video is missing a lil’ something, let me take a few days to redo it 200 times until it’s just right.
  • I breathed too hard after that second sentence. I think I should probably re-record the whole 60-minute video.
  • I know EVERYONE is going to see this line on page 87 is not perfectly center-aligned and I am 100% willing to redo all 86 pages before it to nudge it over a little because I know people have their rulers out, measuring my pixels.

This is insanity.  And not only is it insanity, it’s very demotivating.

When you believe that there is something wrong or off, or that anyone even cares that you’re a single pixel off on a graphic, you exhaust yourself.  You make your course creation longer than it needs to be and you might even start to question why you’re even doing it. 

You might not obsess over visual things like I do. You might worry about words and if it’s said in the best way. Or you might worry about not having enough checklists.  Or photos. Or any number of other things that don’t look as great as it does in that course created by Julie in NYC. But for all of us that fall into this evil twin trap, here’s how we can break out of it and stay motivated.

1. Remember, it’s a process.

We create in drafts, just like novelists.  If the first draft is dreadful, it can always be changed later. But you have to take action, get through each lesson, get it on paper, laying it out all there until you can see what you got from start to finish. You don’t want to get stuck on Lesson One because you can’t decide between the colors saffron and daffodil, when you have nine other lessons to complete.

2. Plan your time.

Create a framework to work in each creation session with the flexibility to change. Don’t even give perfection and indecisiveness a chance to creep in.  If you know that you have one hour to create the slides for your course, get it done! Then move on to your next lesson. It’s just a draft and once you see all of those beautiful slides bringing your course to life, you’ll surely be motivated.

3. Learn more about your topic.

Another way you can stay motivated about your course creation is to regularly attend workshops, webinars and conferences that discuss your topic. Use this time to learn what new and upcoming ideas are and use the time to network with experts in your area.  I always learn something new and get excited to put my own spin on it. This sometimes helps jumpstart me if I’ve been indecisive about what to do next – I want to get the old stuff out of the way and tackle the new stuff. Or it motivates me to move in a new direction.

And here’s a hint:  If you take time to meet a few experts, you can interview them and use those interviews in your course, or your next one!  In addition to that, by attending conferences, webinars and workshops, you will also learn what new challenges people in your niche are facing.

4. Gamify it.

Games are all about heroes with missions and big goals to reach.  They are rewarded for the progress on all of the challenges they overcome.  Be the hero of your course by reaching small targets you set for yourself each time you sit down at your computer to work on a lesson.   Do what you can to defeat the evil twins, if you feel them breathing down your neck, change direction and work on a different task. Your big goal is to complete your course, so give yourself some brownie points (or actual brownies) along the way.

5. Keep your vision in mind.

You have a vision for your course. You, being amazing in front of your students. Shedding your expertise onto those hungry minds, answering their questions and stimulating their curiosity.  Keep the vision you have for you and your course and your students in front of your mind at all times. Remember, the reason you’re spending the time (and perhaps struggling with becoming demotivated) is because you want to make a change in the lives of your students. Whether you are creating an art course, a financial course, or a literacy course – you have identified a change that you know how to help your students make.  And that should be your number one focus.

I hope these tips can help if you ever fall into that weird part of the creation process where you think your work is not good enough, or you just can’t make a choice to move forward. It’s so easy to get demotivated.  But know that the possibilities are endless when you stay motivated about your topic and the course you are creating and what your audience wants to learn from YOU.

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