My Top Ten Tips to get the Fun back!
1. This is a hobby and it should be fun. If it isn’t, stop, take a break, take a month, take a year. You can come back later rejuvenated. Think of your life like seasons. Sometimes life is just too busy or modelling just doesn’t fit. Acknowledge that but know that it will change with time.
2. Remember it’s a hobby not a job. Deadlines do exist, such as friends visiting or exhibitions, but they’re often self-inflicted so be smart. Don’t over-promise! Be kind to yourself.
3. Try a different type of modelling or something else within the hobby. I do sci-fi modelling when model railways are too much but there’s a huge range within the hobby from bench work to track to scenery.
4. Try out a new technique. I’m doing snow and ice and it’s great fun to try something new.
5. Pick up an unfinished project. Finishing will give great satisfaction and you’re already part way along already. Remember why you wanted to build that project. What inspired you? Revisit that book, location or layout to reinvigorate yourself.
6. Do something small that you can finish. Try a small diorama completely different to everything else you do or try a technique you’ve been wanting to do for a while but make it small. Alternatively, do something you know you are good at and that you will succeed at. I find my loft layout overwhelming and so it largely remains untouched!
7. Go to an exhibition, convention or train show. Seeing others work will inspire you! If you can’t do that, watch a TV show like the Great Model Railway Challenge or YouTube. Luke Towan is great for inspiration. See friends’ models and chat to them. Other people can be really inspiring but…
8. Don’t expect to be perfect at everything and don’t be put off by others who appear to be good at everything. They aren’t! This hobby can be a huge learning curve so start small and practice. You will improve!
9. Don’t let the rivet counters or negative comments upset you. Ask to see their modelling! I spent 6 months on a diorama once and 8 modelling friends came round. Only one could say anything nice about it, every one else just ripped it apart. I sobbed when they went home. I had already entered it in the NMRA British Region convention as I wanted the marks for my Master Model Railroader (MMR). I didn’t think it would do well but I put it in anyway.
It won best in show with perfect marks. Do not let others judge you! This hobby is fun. Incidentally, I don’t show my models to those friends any more.
10. Remember 1. It’s a hobby. If it isn’t fun. Stop. Work our what you do enjoy and do that.
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