Last week I wrote about three obstacles to finishing creatives works: The fear of finishing, the draw of other creative projects, and lack of accountability. This week we’ll go over a few tips on how to overcome these obstacles.
Strategies to Overcome The Fear of Finishing
- Finish the projects you start.
The number one way to overcome the fear of finishing is to finish. It doesn’t matter how bad or good the final product appears. I won’t say that your work will satisfy you, but I will say that you’ll at least give yourself a pat on the back for a job done.
- Remind yourself that you’re getting better.
Over time, the disappointment in your own creative weaknesses will lessen. You’ll come to accept your imperfections and improve on them. At some points, you’ll hate yourself for your weaknesses, but at other points you may be happy that you have something more to improve.
- No pressure.
If you’re not trying to become a professional creator, then a great strategy is to keep the final product to yourself. While many creatives like to show their work, it’s not a requirement. If you do want to share your work, share it with a few close friends and associates before you send it to the wider world.
- Finish, then give it space.
After you finish a creative project, don’t go back immediately to critique it. Give it space, a week, two, maybe even a month. Then go back and see what you did well, what you did bad, and how you can improve.
- Embrace Failure
You will fail. Once you finish a work and send it to the world, some people will like it and some people will hate it. This is the truth for any creative person. Accept that and move on.
Strategies to Overcome the Draw of Other Creative Projects
- Work on multiple creative projects at once.
When you work on multiple projects at once, you have the option to jump back and forth, preventing burnout on a single project. Make sure you’re still moving towards a finished product. You don’t want to get stuck with five unfinished projects at the end of the year.
- Only have a set number of projects.
While having multiple projects allows for variety in the creative process, too many projects at once, can disorient a creative. I suggest three or four projects. This allows you the ability to think deeply about each project without becoming obsessive over one. It also helps you avoid spreading yourself to soon.
- Warm up with a small project.
Another great way to add variety to your work without pulling yourself away from larger projects is to warm-up with a small project, a ten-minute play, a short story, or a short screenplay. Usually, short projects don’t take that long, sometimes all you need is a few minutes, then you can move on to writing/creating your larger project.
Strategies to Overcome Lack of Accountability
- Use a friend
Not all friends are good for accountability. Make sure you pick someone who can be a bit of a hard ass. Pick someone who will demand that you stay true to your goals and dreams.
- Use family
Like friends, not all family members are suitable for accountability partners, but some of them are. Find those family members and ask them to keep you on track to finishing projects.
- Use social media
A great way to add a little accountability is to announce your project on social media. If you gain a following, they will expect you to share your work at some point.
- Invest money
This may or may not be the best advice depending on where you’re at financially or where the creative work is at quality wise. Let’s just say, there’s nothing more motivating than when a few hundred or a few thousand dollars are on the line.