A long time ago, I used to do lots of creative things, mostly as a teenager. I used to write, I used to act, I used to sing. I once directed a public performance of a play I wrote. Before all that, I used to draw, and I played instruments, the saxophone and the violin. I was good at some of it, and bad at, well, most of it. Either way, these are things that I have mostly lost. College left me without a lot of free time or energy, and grad school had all that plus the "feature" of making writing into an abominable chore instead of something I enjoyed. My creative output today is mostly in the software I write, or in blog posts, or in sandbox-style video games like Dwarf Fortress.
I've decided to try to reverse course a bit. I've done a bit of writing (nothing terrific so far), and I'm taking violin lessons again. It's funny how much muscle memory remains after almost twenty years. I've put a fair chunk of money into it - like with the gym, I find that being able to say, "I've paid for it, I might as well put it to use" is a remarkably good motivator. So for now I get to spend a half hour or so per day (about all my wrists can stand) making the cats flee, but I really do feel like I'm picking it up quickly this time around. Being able to still (sort of) read music helps a lot, as does having the cash to pick up things I need (shoulder rests, rosin, tuners, etc) without having to think too hard about it.
This all makes me wonder. If expenditure is a motivation for me such that I really am going to the gym regularly and practicing an instrument regularly, how on earth do I motivate myself to write more?