The last step in a project, whether creative, arts, business or other, is completion. It is the most important step. After all, we can start things and enjoy the process along the way, but if we have never actually completed a painting, or finished the lyrics, or signed off on the project, can we really call ourselves painters or song writers or project managers?
Completion is that step when we finally finish a project, painting, song, play, novel, garden, carpentry project…whatever it is. We declare it finished … we write the report or summary, frame the painting and hang it up, send the manuscript to the publisher, record the song, perform the play, or move into the house we’ve built. The output is complete and applied to be used in the way that it was intended … the song is heard; the play is seen; the painting is viewed; the carpentry project is used for its intended purpose.
Not only does this completion step finish the production or deliverable of the project, but it provides us as creators with a sense of pride and accomplishment and frees us to move on to the next thing.
How many unfinished projects do you have sitting around? As artists, we often have several paintings started, but not yet finished; writers have short pieces written or started but not completed. In business, this is less common, as once we start a project, a team and schedule are put in motion and someone sees that the schedule is met and the project is finished. Small business owners may have more unfinished projects because they have limited resources to devote to the many things they need to complete.
When we are in this state of never finishing anything, whether because we don’t’ have time, staff or money, or we don’t know how or don’t have the skills, it is disempowering. We aren’t finishing the projects that are started, and we don’t feel motivated to start new ones because we have so many uncompleted projects.
This weekend, I framed six paintings and delivered three of them to a gallery for a show. Some of these works had been laying around unframed for over a year. In some cases, I hadn’t even previously decided whether they were finished. Last week, I decided that it was time to look at those paintings and decide. I declared them finished, photographed them, added them to my website, ordered the frames, and then framed them on the weekend. I have declared them finished and I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment.
I took some time after doing the framing and revelled in that sense of having completed and accomplished something. That is important. I can move forward now. That unfinished work sitting around was cluttering my creative space … in my head and in my studio.
Today, I am writing for my BLOG, pulling together ideas for another writing project, and I have planned a day of painting with an artist friend.
© Dr. Carla Weaver 2015