Creativity is for Everyone!

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.

Author: Eileen McKenna {my creative resolution}

Watercolor Artist, seascape painter, collector of creative inspiration. Sign up for my newsletter for a weekly dose of creative inspiration and to receive the free pdf "Watercolor Basics" – Visit:

10 thoughts on “Forcing myself to finish.

  1. I hear you totally. This is part of the reason I don’t do anything larger. I am a chronic non-finisher! You’ve done a nice job with a challenging scene, Eileen!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

    • 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.

  4. Pingback: Practicing on scrap paper before diving in | my creative resolution

  5. 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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