First thing you should know, is that you aren’t alone.
When I say you’re not alone, I mean it. You definitely aren’t the first creative to get lost in your own work. Often times this means you’ve started one piece, then stopped and started another and so on and so forth. This gets you in an unfortunate cycle of never finishing your work.
Really let this settle in…nothing matters, if you don’t know how to finish. I know because I have a lot of stuff I’ve started and never finished. Sometimes I get bored. Sometimes I get overwhelmed or sometimes I straight up lose interest in the work I started originally. This is, however, unhealthy.
Most creatives want their work to be seen, consumed and appreciated by the masses and we consistently hurt ourselves by not finishing the projects we start. That doesn’t mean every single thing you’ve ever done needs to be finished, but boy does it feel good. There’s nothing like getting a 4 year old project done. You open up more creative space and focus. You end up freeing yourself from the confines of your own work.
So, how do you get this done you ask?
Here are some pointers for you. They helped me, and they could help you:
- CRITICAL! Don’t worry about other peoples judgement no matter how good or bad you think your work is. Often times we stop a project because of someone else’s opinion. This gives the other person power over you! Keep driving forward!
- Make a deal with yourself. Don’t start a new project without finishing one. This helps me stay accountable to projects I’ve already got on the table. If you can’t keep your promises to yourself, how can you keep promises for clients and other prospects? You have to show that you not only have talent, but that you can actually FINISH!
- Properly schedule your time. I recently made a deal with myself that big projects, like a feature film, need time and therefore making statements like “it will be done next week” are far fetched and impossible. Big projects need big timelines. That might be weeks, months or years. This leads to my final point.
- Patience. This is the key to a lot of my recent successes. WIth projects of all sizes, you have to deploy a level of patience. You have to understand not everything is going to be perfect or correct right out of the gate. You also have to accept that it’s probable 2 out of 5 projects will fail. That doesn’t mean you suck, it just means you need to dig in, be patient, educate yourself and keep grinding.
It’s okay that you struggle to focus…
While everything I said above could help you, you shouldn’t judge yourself too harshly. You have to understand there’s no right or wrong way to be a creative. Often times the most talented people in the world struggle in some form. This is part of your own journey so embrace every moment of it.
You have this one life, so do what you can to leave your mark on history while you can. Finish your projects and share them with the world. All you have to do is change one persons life. That ripple effect will rattle generations that follow.