Logo

Welcome to

Login or Signup to meet new friends, find out what's going on, and connect with others on the site.


Sign Up Now

Registering for this site is easy. Just fill in the fields on the registration page and we'll get a new account set up for you in no time.

Forgot Your Password?

A new password will be e-mailed to you.

Member Login

 
 

Finish Something

126As artists, we often complain about our inability to begin. If only I had the nerve to start X-- a novel, a short story, the rewrite on our play, the photo series we're "thinking" of. I would like to suggest that you start somewhere else-- start with finishing something.

There must be some obscure law of physics that revs into action when artists finish something. And that something can be reorganizing the medicine cabinet, cleaning out the glove compartment, or folding and putting away the laundry. The moment we finish something, we get a sort of celestial pat-- sometimes even a shove-- a small booster rocket of energy to be applied elsewhere.

When we want to grease the creative wheels, we do very well to muster a little elbow grease elsewhere. Mend the trousers. Hang the curtains. Sort a bookshelf. Finishing almost anything creates both order and an inner order: "Now, start something," finishing something says.


12 Comments on "Finish Something"

  1. Brilliant. I will clean out my desk drawer right now.

  2. Thank you, I really needed to read this. It can be a great cure to procrastination. For instance, right now I’ve been toying with starting a short story that’s been on my mind for a while, when I should be (and now will) finish my paper. I’ve just started your book. It has already sparked something in me.

  3. Alright, I’m going to try this.

    It may be a nice break from “getting stuck” with work for several hours. Though I must admit I always think I should rather save my energy by not doing other things and just “focus” on my work, because when I’m done finishing something, I might just end up tired.

    Maybe I should look into other considerations too.

  4. Thank you, Julia.
    Love the ‘small booster rocket of energy to be applied elsewhere’.
    all the best to you and your life-changing work.

  5. Often the problem with finishing is distraction. Another great idea or project comes alone and, “squirrel”, off the creative person goes in another direction. A few months ago I had the idea to make a craft item, so I bought all the materials then came home and dropped the bags on the floor under my big painting table. I found them again when I was moving something yesterday and thought, “What’s this? Oh, yes…”

    I’m really making a concerted effort to finish things and not to start anything new until I clear the decks a little.

  6. Dave Patrick says:

    Thanks, Julia, great advice as usual and I love the way you come at this obliquely by “finishing something” to provide the creative space to “start something”. I bought ‘The Artist’s Way’ many years ago and have just started re-reading it (and ‘The Artist’s Way at Work’ and ‘Vein of Gold’). Since reading it the first time I’ve had three books published as Editor (‘The View’, ‘The View Beyond’ and ‘The Cathar View’), and have other book projects on the go (just need to “finish” the first one…). Thanks also for allowing your Artist’s Way process to be “open source”, I am currently planning to run a Creative Writing group weekly class and intend to incorporate the Morning Pages and Artist Date for participants to use on their own between each weekly classes. All the best from Scotland (I guess with your “Cameron” surname you must have Scottish roots…?)

  7. Marty Romero says:

    Finding this post is incredibly timely. I recently decided to reorganize my workspace. I didn’t do very many changes to it, but just finishing the project felt so empowering. I don’t know where that feeling comes from, but it was enough to get me to want to finish more things around the house. I am focusing on things that make me productive and each time I finish one, I feel like I can take on just about anything.

  8. Profile photo of Sherri Slater

    Yes indeed. I have recently cleaned out what use to be the stash-it room and now it is my office-yoga project room and in so doing i had to clean out another office that had become my office stash-it room building its clusters for almost 10 years…long story but both rooms had been rendered almost unusable and not my old office space is completely empty except for the desk that is too big and too heavy to move. But its going to get striped of old dark wall paper and painted white, clean shiny white with turquoise and green accents and what ever other bright cool color i want splash in…so that will be a work in process but my new space has drawers & boxes to be gone through and i will attack one a day! that is a commitment! and now its on paper. But we’ve come a long way baby in the last weeks! Thank you for the even added incentive of making this public!

  9. Love this. Makes me inspired to clean my whole house tonight!

    Thanks for this lovely post.

    XO,

    Nicole

    http://www.limitlessartists.com

  10. I do it when I loose my sense of control. I find it therapeutic. But never has it been put down so eloquently. Thank you. I am inspired.

  11. Kay Sarma says:

    I simply love the way you write, so elegantly and eloquently.
    On the topic of Finishing Something, I resort to this tactic every time I ‘m scared of starting a writing task. It’s clearly my way of procrastinating! Unfortunately, I do not feel any sense of accomplishment even in the finished (non writing) task.
    To face my fear of writing, I find your Morning Pages advice most effective — write, write, write, write even drivel – without judgement, completely unfettered, even if it is only to say, I haven’t the foggiest notion of what I’m doing. Ultimately the act of WRITING does release the energy one is seeking. Thank you, thank you, Julia Cameron for your constant, unswerving, golden advice.

  12. Kay Sarma says:

    I simply love the way you write, so elegantly and eloquently.
    On the topic of Finishing Something, I resort to this tactic every time I ‘m scared of starting a writing task. It’s clearly my way of procrastinating! Unfortunately, I do not feel any sense of accomplishment even after finishing a (non writing) task.
    To face my fear of writing, I find your Morning Pages advice most effective — write, write, write, write even drivel – without judgement, completely unfettered, even if it is only to say, I haven’t the foggiest notion of what I’m doing. Ultimately the act of WRITING does release the energy one is seeking. Thank you, thank you, Julia Cameron for your constant, unswerving, golden advice.

Leave a Comment

*