Do you think it's better or worse to just wait for the shrining mood to come back on its own? Why? Do you find it better or worse to push through the loss of motivation and complete a shrine anyway? Why?
(Combined these because... I wrote the reply without really reading and then... oops.) It depends on the reason behind the standstill!
- a) I have a lot of things I love anime/manga/video games-wise, and it's at times difficult to "balance all that love", especially with how much entertainment there is nowadays to get lost in... Sometimes you get distracted by new series while still digesting a series you've just consumed, and I think that's a bummer. Usually when I play or read something that I like, I really want to write about it, but then I get distracted and it never gets done. I don't like writing about something - even if I'm intimately familiar with it and remember most of it very well (especially since I keep notes) - after having "tuned out"; I want my feelings to be at their most intense when I make a dedication.
Since "getting distracted by other series" is something that I think I have control over, I'd usually try to not get into new things until I've sorted out my feelings. Alas, with shrines often being very big projects that take a long time to get done, it's not always possible, because... you can't just work all the time, and distraction/consumption is a healthy break.
- b) When the shrining mood is gone due to stress in life or bad mental health, however, I don't force myself to keep shrining (unless, of course, if all the writing and creative work is something that helps). It's difficult to work on something creative when you feel like you're at your worst, because you don't want your work to be subpar to what you'd create under better circumstances...
That isn't to say that shrining hasn't dragged me out of some dark pits though. I've... been down for several weeks recently, and it has only got slightly better about a week ago. Right now, I'm shrining a character who struggles with mental health, and that, in turn, is easy for me to write precisely because it speaks to my current emotional state. I think "shrining by mood" is a really great approach to keep up activity.
- c) If the shrining mood is gone due to lack of time and energy (or plain laziness or loss of motivation) not related to b), I do sometimes force myself to get back into it, because for me, working on something ambitious is also a matter of discipline, not just love. (I don't hold others to the same standards, no worries.) It's important to remember that little steps matter. Designing a layout or coding it can be a fun short project, and it'll wait for you when you're ready to write. Writing a page that isn't connected to other pages and thus doesn't require too much planning is nice too, as is collecting and sorting material for a gallery.
Overall, I think it's not so much that I think about it as "waiting for the shrining mood to come back", but I'd think about what I can do to make it come back if I really, really want a shrine to happen (see below).
It has also helped me to see folks here work on multiple projects at once (i.e. having multiple in-progress shrines). Before, I'd just sit through shrines until completion, as I was positive that once I stop, I'd have a hard time getting back into the project. I don't know whether that's true, but working just on one project at a time hasn't worked out well this year, and some projects were really demanding. I'd feel like writing and being creative, but the thought of having to work on one particular shrine would kill all of that motivation. So now, I try not to be hard on myself for working on multiple things at once, and putting things on hold as needed.
What are your favorite tricks for re-inspiring yourself?
Introducing a friend to the subject or receiving a message from them telling me that they're planning to check it out can be very motivating. The latter isn't something that's in your hands, but if there are people like that around you (and Amassment is part of it), the encouragement and excitement really helps. Especially if you share tidbits with them to get them into the thing, such as... random Tumblr links to cute/sad/pretty stuff. Those are the things that remind you why you loved the subject so much that you wanted to make a shrine to it in the first place.
Reexperiencing the thing helps too - preferably in a manner that doesn't force it. There was this conversation a while ago about how rereading/watching/playing something for research while taking extremely detailed
notes can bring your shrining process to a complete halt due to how much work is involved, and how that detracts from experiencing the subject in the way that made you love it.
Going over what you've already written and looking over your notes is also motivating, especially if you're someone who lays out solid foundations from the start to guide your future process. If I've let notes and outlines rest for a while and come back to them, I'm usually really ecstatic to put them to use... It's like finding blueprints to some super cool thing passed down by your ancestors that you can now claim credit for okay!!!!