Forcing myself to finish.

One thing I’ve learned about myself as an artist, is that I dive into a project with enthusiasm. I think it’s the Aries in me [read more about that here]. It’s great for starting a project, but for me, a couple of things can get in the way of finishing a project.

  1. I lose enthusiasm.
  2. A new project grabs my attention.
  3. I get worried about ruining a project.
  4. I’m not sure how to proceed because I haven’t planned things out.

When I started my creative resolution I forced myself to finish a bunch of forgotten projects. I also forced myself to finished most of the new projects I started. And I adapted to work within my personality. Most projects I work on, I finish within a few days – before the enthusiasm fades or I get sidetracked (or I get paralyzed worrying about ruining it or I start to overthink the next steps).

Recently I started this pool painting. I forced myself to paint, what I thought of as the hardest part of the painting – the lane lines – before I left for a short trip. I knew that if I could get that step out of the way and left only the pool water and a few minor details, I’d be much more likely to finish this painting when I got back.

Some of the valuable lessons I’ve learned in the last year and half, have less to do with painting and technique, and more to do with how I work. And how to get things finished.

10 thoughts on “Forcing myself to finish.

  1. I have the same problem- tons of unfinished projects! Slowly I’m trying to gain a good work ethic. Your painting came out great, by the way!

  2. I’m so glad you wrote this post! I can totally relate. I’ve been working on this “finishing things” issue for almost two years, now, too. It’s such a slow process, but it’s really satisfying to see the progress along the way, isn’t it?
    Also, I love your painting and find it very interesting to see the pictures of the process. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I’m so glad you liked the post! It is hard to finish sometimes, especially when too much time has past and you lose interest. A little bit ago I made a “forgotten projects” jar and my plan was to once a month select something from the jar to finish. Great idea except I totally forgot about it and when I did remember I had absolutely no interest in working on anything in the jar! I guess there has to be some excitement in a project.

  3. It seems we all have more ideas (starts) than time to finish them. Despite my best intentions, I still keep starting new ideas (“before I forget”). You look like you’re making good progress!

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