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#MicroblogMondays 41: Walking Away From a Project

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


Sibyl Moon Games had a post a while back about deciding to leave a game unfinished.

She writes so perfectly: “Creative work is a gamble.  Each time you sit down at your computer – or your notebook, or your easel, or whatever the tools of your specific pursuit may be – then you’re betting you can capture something from your mind and convey it to your audience’s.”

She goes on to admit that part of being a game-maker (or a writer or an artist or an actress or a musician) is also knowing when to walk away and commit your energy elsewhere.  Not every idea will be brought to fruition, and not every project started will be completed.

How do you prioritize where your creative hours go?  Have you ever had to walk away from a project and did doing so create space for other work?


Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored posts.

1. Jessica 16. Junebug 31. Amber
2. A. 17. torthú il 32. Traci York
3. Rachel 18. Geochick 33. Savannah (Because I Can’t Have Babies)
4. Cathy @ Still Waters 19. Justine 34. Savannah (Countless Tomorrows)
5. Middle Girl 20. Sadie 35. Slaying, Blogging, Whatever
6. Karen (River Run Dry) 21. Cristy 36. Journeywoman
7. Mary Francis 22. Madhavi 37. Good Families Do
8. Shilpa 23. S 38. My Path To Mommyhood (Jess)
9. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 24. Baby Blue Sunday 39. Shailaja/ Moving Quill
10. Lori Lavender Luz 25. Daryl 40. Mali (No Kidding in NZ)
11. Northern Star 26. Shail 41. Mali (A Separate Life)
12. Solo Mama 27. Pieces of Religion 42. Kasey
13. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) 28. One and Done? 43. deathstar
14. Isabelle 29. Dubliner in Deutschland
15. gradualchanges 30. Laurel Regan @ Alphabet Salad


1 Jessica { 06.08.15 at 6:04 am }

To be practical, I had to reject some work when I knew I couldn’t clear up my cluttered desk. We have limited time and resources so it all boils down to being practical.

2 Rachel { 06.08.15 at 6:54 am }

I hate leaving projects partially done – I think the only exception being writing. I have started hundreds of stories and never finished them – I just get another idea before the first ones finished and I HAVE to write down the new idea – and I move on from the old one. It’s terrible, I know!

3 Middle Girl { 06.08.15 at 7:29 am }

I get frustrated when I can’t flesh an idea out OR I begin and root around with it, call it finished and then am horribly disappointed with the result.

4 Cathy { 06.08.15 at 7:38 am }

I find there are crafters who will have one thing on the go and won’t give up on it until finished. Then there are the others who have several projects going at one time – that would include me.
I usually have several kntting projects on the go and then find myself looking at other patterns and yarn and working out my next project. I don’t class these (as so many other crafters do) – as unfinished objects but baby clothes in the making. Deciding which jacket will be worked on that day is as easy as ‘which one is on the top of the pile’ and how soon do I need to have the garments in to the charity they are destined for. It all comes together in the end.

5 loribeth { 06.08.15 at 9:43 am }

Oh, absolutely. Like Cathy (above), I often have several different projects on the go & will bounce back & forth among them. This includes cleaning & organizing projects around the house, genealoty research, and blog posts, as well as crafting projects. I have several scrapbooking projects, generally started at a class or crop, that have yet to be finished. Some of them from (gulp) 10 years ago I keep saying I will get back to them. Someday…

6 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.08.15 at 10:00 am }

Yes, I do this in small ways. Dozens of draft posts undone in my blog’s dashboard. Each one seemed workable the moment I conceived it; for some reason, though the effort to convey from my mind to an audience’s just flops sometimes. I move on.

I have not done this with a big project, though. That would be hard to walk about after having “sunk costs.”

7 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 06.08.15 at 10:17 am }

It’s so hard to know when creative work is “done.” Similarly, once you head off the beaten path, it’s hard to know if you’re going the right direction.

8 gradualchanges { 06.08.15 at 10:50 am }

I am constantly leaving unfinished projects in my wake. But instead of letting them go and feeling relief, I keep them as something I need to finish one day and they bring me guilt and a sense that there is always something that I SHOULD be doing that I’m not doing. Wow, I guess I need to work on that…

9 Geochick { 06.08.15 at 12:11 pm }

Mostly small things like draft posts on my blog that I never get around to finishing. As far as investing some money (not a lot), I’ve given up on scrapbooking. There’s an unfinished scrapbook hanging out in the closet, paper, tools, stickers, all the trappings. It’s not likely to get done as I’ve lost all motivation. I guess I’m not the scrapbooking type.

10 Justine { 06.08.15 at 12:22 pm }

I suffer from the opposite problem: not even starting a project that I fear I can’t complete. I think that’s what makes creative people successful: being willing to start something when you can’t be sure where it will go. In some ways, I wonder if you have to be willing to walk away even before you start.

11 Cristy { 06.08.15 at 1:45 pm }

I have a needle point project that I initially worked on with a fury and then put it down. It’s been haunting me for 10 yrs. I pick it up every now and then and think about how I need to finish it, but it requires patience that I can’t bring myself to muster. So it haunts me as I work on other things. But I know that by not working on it other things are getting done.

12 Daryl { 06.08.15 at 2:25 pm }

I have many, many unfinished projects lying around: poems, knitting, crochet, and sewing projects, even recipes that I totally mean to try out, even buying the ingredients, and then never actually make. I keep thinking I’ll get back to them eventually, but, sadly, that is usually not the case.

13 Sharon { 06.08.15 at 3:12 pm }

I don’t do anything creative. How sad is that?

14 Jennifer { 06.08.15 at 3:42 pm }

I’m a little OCD about finishing a project once I start it. I think it keeps me from taking on some projects.

15 DublinGal { 06.08.15 at 5:26 pm }

I have loads of half written posts that I start writing but never get around to finishing. And I often have ideas for things I would like to do such as creating photo books or calendars or doing something crafty for the apartment but most of the time I don’t make enough time for creative tasks.

16 Laurel Regan { 06.08.15 at 5:27 pm }

I have several started but unfinished pieces of art languishing in my WIP file… and I think that’s ok. Whether or not I ever return to them, I won’t let them hold me back from continuing to create other things in the meantime!

17 Amber { 06.08.15 at 5:30 pm }

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of unfinished projects. The biggest one is scrapbooking. I long ago came to the conclusion that I will never be able to get all my pictures into scrapbooks. And that was BEFORE I had kids!

18 Traci York { 06.08.15 at 7:08 pm }

Sometimes it feels like all I do is walk away from unfinished projects. I agree, knowing when to walk away is necessary, but so is knuckling down and finishing it. Maybe someday I’ll learn when to do each… *grin*

By the way, did my first #MicroblogMondays post today – thanks for the inspiration!

19 Jess { 06.08.15 at 9:28 pm }

I am really bad at saying no and making space for myself. I need to carve out more creative hours in my day to work on projects I have rattling around… I’m just so glad that summer is almost here and I will have time and space to breathe and attack things. I did kind of abandon a beautiful scarf I was knitting for my sister. I’ll finish it someday, but I am not a proficient enough knitter to not have to pay attention to every little stitch, and all I could think while doing it was, “I could be reading or writing right now. This is kind of a waste of time.” Even though I was creating something, it wasn’t really fulfilling for me. Guilt will have me finishing that project though, maybe rainy days this summer. It was really pretty, just too much of a time suck.

20 Shailaja { 06.08.15 at 11:43 pm }

I have a very weird creative muse actually 🙂 I find that if I gaze at a photograph or a sentence long enough, I will be inspired to write something meaningful. I also believe that while writing daily is a good habit, not all that we write is necessarily good. Some of it will touch a place deep within, others will skim the surface and most of it will just bounce off and not leave a dent. That’s okay too, though, because we need that variety to keep pushing us forward. I do find that reading and engaging in other pursuits a necessary part of the creative process. It is like the mind rests and rejuvenates during that time and comes back with new and fresh perspective to the creative task.

21 Mali { 06.09.15 at 1:37 am }

Yes. I think part of the creative process is giving yourself time away from it, to gain perspective and be able to critique it appropriately. I’ve abandonned some projects after time away, though I may return and completely refocus at least one.

Sometimes I think we have to work on something before we know if a) it will be any good, b) we enjoy it, or c) we want to put it out there. It’s not time wasted – we learn from it all, I think.

22 Kasey { 06.09.15 at 8:21 am }

I constantly have half finished projects. But I do have plans to finish them. Someday.

23 SRB { 06.09.15 at 11:54 am }

Ah, yes! As a knitter, I perpetually have several WIPs. I cast on with excitement, and then the tedium sets in and I begin to loathe the project. So I start something else, only to become bored and go back to the original project. I have had to impose a cap on WIPs in order to finish anything or I will just go and buy MORE YARN.

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