Last week I wrote about the difficulty of starting. But I’m much better at starting things than finishing them. With my artwork, numerous starts can actually help the process, giving me plenty of opportunities to set aside projects for further development. But eventually, I need to finish them which means getting them to the place where they can go out the door. Those last details are the pesky ones.
I would rather jump into the juiciness of a new idea.
Most recently, I have adopted the technique that my beloved uses: creating a reward (he calls it a carrot) for when I finish. Determining that reward is the tricky part. If I’m really clever, I create a carrot that is about an activity I get to do as opposed to an item I can purchase.
Here’s an example.
I’ve been organizing our shared studio since we finished the new flooring and trim but I’m having trouble sticking with it. So instead of labeling drawers and cupboards so we can find things, I’ve been making miniature assemblages.
Which is fine until I go looking for some special embellishment that I know I have somewhere. And even though that hunting makes me really mad, I’m not finishing the job of organizing.
So when I found myself also frustrated with our messy pantry and was ready to dive in and fix it, I stopped myself. This, I realized, was the perfect carrot for my studio project. Finish the one and I get to start the other. And the bonus? I’ll be able to make art with all of the hours that I used to spend looking for stuff! Now that’s a solid finish line!
Are you better at starting or finishing?