We all have them – or at least I hope we do or I’ll feel like a total looser!
Over the last four years or so I have accumulated a stack of half-finished projects. These range from mini albums to layouts to travel journals. About a year ago I decided to put them all into page protectors to help keep them dust free and store them in a box under my desk.
And there they sit.
What is it about that first rush of excitement that get’s us pulling out supplies and cropping photos? Only to find a few hours later that the enthusiasm dwindles and yet another project gets abandoned.
The other day I had one of those flashes of creativity but instead of starting something new I pulled all the unfinished projects out and laid them on my desk.
The very sight of them all piled up made me feel both sad, that I hadn’t finished them and overwhelmed. So overwhelmed that they almost went straight back in the box again. But I had to stop myself because I didn’t want to have them sat there in another year.
I needed a plan.
I took a sheet of paper and quickly jotted down all the projects. Not in a list, because although I love lists it would have been overwhelming again so instead I wrote them randomly on the paper. I also agreed with myself that after this exercise it would be okay to put them back in the box. I wanted no pressure, no expectation. I thought that was the best plan to actually achieving something.
Then I thought about each little bubble.
- What made me start the project in the first place?
- What did I love about it? Or what did I not love about it? Maybe there was a reason it had remained unfinished?
- Did I want to finish it? Why? Or why not?
- How easy was it to complete? What was needed to get it done? Photos? Journalling?
After making the notes the put everything back in the box and I let the list just sit on my desk for a few hours.
Within three hours though I’d gone back to the box under my desk pulled out the almost finished mini book about Lewis and finished it!
It only needed two photos and a little patterned paper and it was done. Yay.
I also realised when staring at my bubble chart that some of the half put together layouts were not really suited to a layout at all. Which makes me think of Project Life but I want to write separately about PL in another post so for now I’ll just say that the trip we took to see the British Open Golf tournament and the trip I took with my friend to see Strictly Come Dancing filmed are more suited, I think, to being put in a Project Life style album.
So did this exercise get me any closer to finishing these projects?
I’d say yes.
Time of course is an important factor to work in. Some of them are too big to finish in an hour, even if they were greatly reduced in complexity. I’ll have to admit that these may stay in the box a while longer.
However, what I found was that I am totally okay with changing an original idea and that you have to compromise sometimes in order to get a story told. I know it’s not ideal. But realsied that I WANT to finish these projects.
I also realised that I adore the rush of enthusiasm when a new project grabs hold. But I must take action at some point to finish those projects even if simplifying is necessary.
It is better to have the story told in any form than to let it slip away and not be told.
Go on, take time today to tell those almost told stories!