I think you're story is great and one that many of us can relate to in some form or shape. The importance of the question is that you have asked it and now you have given yourself the ability to find the answer.
That doesn't sound like a very helpful answer, as I'm sure you were expecting a list of techniques or tips. But that is something that you can find yourself. You just have to keep asking, experimenting and exploring. Just follow what you know now to be right for you and it'll take you where you want to go.
So i'd suggest just experimenting with a few things. Different approaches. Making games out of your work, or simply trying to apply a new concept to the work in order to make it more fun. There will be a way, it just depends on whether you decide to invest time in finding one.
Best of luck.