Plan a Strategy to Finish Your Creative Project

Strategy.

A powerful word. A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. Sounds so easy. Set a major or overall aim. Write out a plan. Follow the plan. Achieve the major or overall aim.

Why is it we start out with such good intentions on getting to that “plan” yet find we are wandering down the Yellow Brick Road?

I know a number of you out there are creative souls. You write, you paint, you go to art fairs and gardening seminars and are speakers at conferences. You know what you want to do, make a plan, and carry that plan out. That is what makes your creative efforts so promising.

But what happens if every time you turn around another light bulb goes off with another creative thing you want to do? I find that the more creative I get, the more creative I want to become. The more writing ideas I get, the more stories and poems and novels I want to write. The more unique artists I come across, the more I want to get the artists out there so others can enjoy them too.

There are only so many hours in the day. Most of us have full-time jobs, full-time school, full-time everything. Our weekends are jammed with family or classes or household responsibilities. So what good are all these other ideas when we don’t have time for the ones we currently have?

I had an idea for a new novel. Exciting, challenging. A lot of research, a lot of medical trails. I used a prologue from a different story I started a few years ago (and never finished), and adapted it to my New Novel.

That’s the last I’ve worked on it.

I have so many other projects that fit into my time schedule that writing Gone With The Wind Book 4 just isn’t in the picture. And that’s just the fact, Jack.

You all have projects in different stages. Some are realities, like actually finishing a novel, or entering a writing contest, or finishing the painting or sketch you’ve worked so hard on. But time isn’t the same across the universe. Where you have time to do an art piece with mosaics, you don’t have time to write a blog. What started as a three-section painting now may have to be reconditioned as a one-piece masterpiece.

We just can’t do everything we set out to do. And the sooner we “get” that, the easier our strategy becomes. We have to finish what we start, or at least make a concerted effort to finish. Other ideas are what notebooks are for. And there is no problem with filling them up with future ideas and creations. If you find you have lost your way on your current project, that’s okay. Don’t throw it away – just put it aside. Go follow your next project with wild abandon. But make sure you finish that project. Don’t leave a path full of empty starts behind you. Never finishing is demoralizing and counter-productive.

Many of the creative people I know schedule their creativity on a daily basis. After work, before dinner, an hour before they have to go to work. Saturday mornings. Sunday evenings. The when doesn’t matter – as long as you get it done. It doesn’t have to be done in a studio or library or out on the deck with a glass of wine. You can write in front of the TV on a laptop. You can paint in the garage. You can quilt in the second bedroom. You can needle point on the bus.

The point is, don’t give up. Let the creative ideas flow. Write them all down. Doodle, draw, research. Keep a whole library in your pocket.

But finish what you’ve started. Then start something new. Plan your days. Your hours. Your stages. Have a strategy in place.