Thursday, July 5, 2018

Art and Self-Discipline - The Struggle to Finish

Losing passion for one's creative project is just part of being creative. So don't stop. Because finishing is one of the factors that qualify you as an artist ...

Sadly, some artworks remain unfinished ...

We're always so full of energy when starting a new creative project. We have an idea and we are passionate about implementing it. We burn and burn and burn until ... until the creative project suddenly becomes a chore.

Are you one of those people experiencing this?

Starting an Artwork Is No Problem

What I just described happens to me all the time. I start a drawing and after a few sessions I want to finish it already. This is why I generally don't like drawing too many details.

Or I start writing a story, but half way through I know pretty much exactly how it's going to end and how I'm getting there. I consider myself more of a plotter, but I usually still tweak the details while writing. And when I'm sure I won't tweak much anymore and all I have left to do is just implementing the plan writing quickly gets boring. And besides, there are also all the other ideas for new stories dancing in my mind.

It appears that creating art becomes a chore as soon as the actual creative part of the project is done. When all that is left is mere handicraft. And while there are people who enjoy handicraft there are also people like me who struggle with it.

The One and Only Key

So far I've discovered only one way to deal with this issue: merciless self-discipline. No starting new projects while the current one isn't finished. Too many ideas for future artworks? Maybe I can try and implement some of them in the current one. Not passionate about the current project anymore? Study it closely and remember why I wanted to work on it so badly, then force myself to continue until the passion comes back (which it sooner or later actually does).

Another important thing is, however, to think carefully before even starting the project: Is it something I really want to create? Is it really more than just a mood of the current moment? Is it really something I really want to make sacrifices for?

Why would you want to force yourself to work on something you never were really passionate about in the first place? I noticed that the chances of me actually finishing a project are much higher when I take the time to think a lot about the idea before starting to implement it. And the more spontaneously I start a project the higher the chances I'll abandon it.

How Serious Are You about Your Art?

It all actually comes down to: How serious are you about your project? Is it just a neglectable little hobby you work on when you feel like it or is it something you really want to see implemented?

Yes, you can lose the feeling of passion, even if you work on something you want to create very badly. But you've made a conscious decision to start the project, and if you're really serious you will muster up enough self-discipline to actually finish it.

This is why I think that actually finishing creative projects is one of the major differences between amateurs and "serious" artists. There are so many people out there who want to or actually are writing a book, but only few of them actually finish. With other art genres it's just the same: Many people talk about doing something, but you never see any results.

And this is how I slowly but surely came to the conclusion:
Working on something creative means nothing. Finishing is everything.

True, this is something I regularly need to remind myself of. We all need to do that. But it is the result that counts. So stop procrastinating and get back to work! ;)

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