The last step of any project, whether arts or business, 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 for a song, or signed off on a project, can we call ourselves painters or songwriters 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 off the manuscript for publishing, record the song, produce 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 watched, the painting is viewed, the carpentry product is used for its intended purpose.
Not only does this completion step finish the production or deliverable of the creative project, but it provides the creators with a sense of pride and accomplishment and frees them to move on to the next creative project.
How many unfinished projects do you have sitting around? As artists, we often have several paintings started but not yet finished; writers have pieces started but not completed. In business, it is less common because once we start something, 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 than large organizations do because of limited resources to devote to the many things that they have on their agendas.
When we are in a state of never finishing anything, whether the reason is lack of staff, money or time, or because we don’t know how to finish it, or we don’t have the skills, it is disempowering. We aren’t finishing what we already have started, and we can’t move on to the next thing.
Recently, 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 decided whether they were finished. I decided that it was time to look at these paintings and decide. I declared them finished, photographed them, added them to my website, ordered the frames and framed them. Declaring them finished gave me a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. I took time to pat myself on the back and congratulate myself for this accomplishment.
Having unfinished work sitting around was cluttering my creative space – both in my head and in my studio. Now, I am able to move on to the next project.
© Dr. Carla Weaver 2016