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Chuck ’em and Start Over?

Today I’m wondering just how far behind I have to get before it makes sense to throw away all the partially completed projects I’ve got stacked up and start over again.

It’s sad to even contemplate, I guess, but seriously, how much digging out can one be expected to do before throwing in the towel? And how long can you expect yourself to keep projects that have little or no chance of EVER being completed?

I have no one to blame but myself. I have multiple personality flaws that intertwine to make me feel like I’m genetically incapable of finishing a project. This is not news. I have talked about it before on these pages, so it is a recurring theme. I just never have been quite this close to giving up before. So, I figured it’s worth sorting through again.

All of these unfinished projects were once ideas I was so excited about. Either a new technique I was dieing to try, or something I thought someone would love. But then something happened. It did not go the way I expected. Or I hit a snag I couldn’t get past. Or ran out of steam. Or simply got distracted and by the time I got back to it, the thrill was gone.

A good friend suggested that I pick the easiest one and complete it, then head onto the next. I always think in terms of doing the worst one first, which hasn’t worked. I’m liking the sound of doing easy first!

Maybe not even easiest. Maybe the one I’m the most excited about (or am dreading the least, even.) The concept has potential.

BUT. (There’s always a “but” with me, isn’t there?) I have two projects I NEED to complete soon. One is a repair job for a friend who has been VERY patient with me.


The other is to do the birth announcements for my soon-to-arrive (as in any minute now) granddaughter. I’m pretty sure her mama is going to want to send them out before she’s five!


It’s not like I don’t WANT to do either one.

I’m pretty sure I’m dragging my feet on the one for my friend because I’m afraid I won’t be able to do a good job. That’s just dumb. All I need to do is try. I can’t screw it up. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. It’s not like she’s going to hate me if I can’t do it.

The announcements will be a lot of work, but it’s a labor of love, and not one that I HAVE to do. I want to do it. I guess I’ve just been waiting for a chunk of time to open up, and that’s just not going to happen. It’s a project that can be done in stages, and a bit at a time. So even if I have only 15 minutes, I’d be making progress.

But I digress. My problem isn’t a couple of specific projects. Those I can get done because I need to get them done. My problem is the list of projects a mile long that are not in any serious danger of being completed because I DON’T need to finish them. I have the complete authority to either finish them, throw them away, or keep them hanging around forever. My choice.  I may compromise. I may finish some, toss some, and keep some hanging around.

Right now I have a strong urge to get them all finished. I don’t want to admit defeat. As much as I might like the idea of throwing away all the projects, I can’t really see myself tossing them. So that leaves either doing them or letting them hang around undone.

I’m back to my friend’s suggestion to do the easiest first. I’m going to go with that. Now I need a list. Maybe I’ll keep it in the planner that will be on the list of things I need to finish? Ha! I may be doomed.

About tatterednworn

I am a woman who has committed to living a creative life.

6 responses »

  1. Sometimes I see half finished projects at yard sales, maybe you should figure out which ones you are still interested in and post the rest as giveaways for someone else to love and finish? Just a thought. Have you ever watch any of Seth Godin’s videos where he talks about “shipping”? I think not finishing is quite common amongst creatives – I have several projects of my own which are stalled, sometimes I just set aside a finishing day in the studio where I take those out and see what I can get done…

    • Certainly worth considering! When I get the studio organized, I’ll have to make a pile of projects and see how I feel about them. I didn’t realize it was common. Guess I’m in good company!

  2. I have three altered books that may NEVER get finished, but they are for my personal enjoyment, only. Projects that I commit to, get done on time, or early. I simply can’t stand being late with any project I am committed to. Of course, having said that, I have learned to say NO to certain commitments, too. I hope you have, too, dear.

    • If I have a project with a deadline, I’m on it. It’s the lack of deadline that encourages me to procrastinate until the desire to do it is gone…Maybe I need to try fake deadlines! Heeheehee!

  3. Easy for me to say, but just keep them in a box above your garage? Ya never know when you might want to get back to them.


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