Posts Tagged ‘knowing when your project is done’

By now you have probably figured out that, when it comes to our creative pursuits I am not a big fan of quitting. I’ve spent countless posts trying to talk you our of quitting and pressing on to bring your projects to completion. There one time though where I encourage every creative to quit, every time. Do you know when that is?

When it’s finished…

I know that sounds like a completely Captain Obvious statement. You may even think I have run out of ideas, so please don’t quit reading. Read on.

The fact of the matter is many creatives don’t know when to quit. They take a project to completion. They have created something that is their very best, but they’re just not satisfied. Maybe it’s perfectionism, or procrastination, or just the fear of sharing they work with the world. Whatever the case, they take their wonderful creation and tweak it to death, in many cases the more they do to the piece, the worse it becomes. I’ve ruined a few pieces doing this. I didn’t know when to quit.

Here’s the thing, you will never achieve perfection on this side of the grave and neither will the things you create. Only God is capable of perfection, the rest of us have to settle for bringing the best we have to the project and trusting God for anything above and beyond. There is nothing wrong with wanting to create your best work, but know when to quit. There comes a time where we have to release what we have created to the world and see what happens.

The truth is perfectionism is the enemy of creativity. If you get too afflicted by it, you will never release anything. Please hear this, the vast majority of the benefits of your creation to you and ALL the benefits to those who see your work all happen after you release your creation to the world. Procrastination to the creative is more than putting off the inevitable. In many cases it is the very essence of failure. Your work has value to everyone but you, only after they see or experience it and they can’t do that until you stop procrastinating and release. Finally fear removes the benefit of your work from everyone. Our work is a gift, even if we get paid for it. One person may pay the freight but everyone who sees it receives a blessing. Withholding your work removes everyone’s blessing. Will everyone like what you created? Absolutely not. Will some people bash your work? Quite possibly, and this is where you need to develop a thicker skin. In most cases, those who can’t do become critics, so the best thing you can do is to ignore all but the ones who actually have something constructive to offer. Otherwise create for the people who love your work and forget the rest.

There comes a time where you have to call your project done. That is the only time it is always appropriate to quit and knowing when to call it quits in this case is a skill we all need to acquire. So finish your project and release it to the world.

You’ll know when it’s time!