Keeping the focus on your project

My brain goes all over the place.
I get tons of ideas during a week, for paintings, stories, practising, organizing, subjects to talk about, characters, projects…I’m sure a lot of you can relate.

I’m good at starting stuff and sometimes it’s hard to not act on something that feels like “It’d be so much fun!” but what would totally derail the projects you’re already working on. Especially if these projects get into a phase where the going gets tough and you need to start putting in the work and the hours. New ideas can then feel fresh and exciting to work on, while progress on your current project suffers.

Even within the boundaries of one project alone you can get distracted by tasks that feel new and exciting. Drawing the finale or designing the look of a world you’re only visiting in the middle of the story, while you are working on the set up. You can’t wait to get to the juicy stuff while you know that, if you want to progress, you should work on something else first.
And whenever you’re stuck, or something is hard and the panic strikes, the urge to start something else can get overwhelming.

Over the last few weeks I encountered a few articles about this subject. I highly encourage you to read these two:

Nic Gregory discovered that if you feel stuck, sometimes all you need to do is keep the momentum. He writes about his experience with life drawing here.

And Ryan Mc Swain shares how he finished his first draft for a story while he felt the need to go back and rework because a new idea popped up. Read here how he did it.

Your passion needs your time, your project needs the work, you want to finish something. I’m also talking to myself when I say: stay at it.
Put the distractions in a place where you won’t forget about them. After you’ve finished your project go back to that place. And if you feel stuck, uninspired or overwhelmed, again, stay at it. Don’t lose the momentum. Eventually good things can come out of it and you’ll break through. Trust the process.
I’m still learning to go through the difficult feelings or the hard work, instead of running away and start something new and exciting. It’s a difficult journey sometimes, but a good one.

Do you have any tips to add? What do you do with new ideas? Share in the comments!

Last but not least I added last weeks’ creative prompts to the masterlist. Need a warmup? Some inspiration? Go and see if there’s something you’d like to try!

2 comments

  1. Gea says:

    Hi there!
    Yes, you’ve made a good point that it’s best to stick to what you’re currently working on instead of jumping from one exciting new thing to the next. I need to keep my focus on what’s important NOW with regards to my photography and start working on that instead of daydreaming about what I like to be or do. šŸ˜‰

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