Sell Your Soul: Finish Things

October 18, 2016

finish-things

When people ask me how I got to the place I am today, I often tell that it’s because I finished things. I finished novels. I finished graphic novels. I finished comic books. I finished podcasts. I finished nearly everything I set my mind out to do.

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Even when I didn’t like something, I still finished it. Why? Because it is in the finishing of something that learning happens. It’s not in the starting something. This is because it is very easy to take something to 90% completed. You can begin a novel today and have it finished in a couple of weeks if you are only concerned about a first draft.

However, for writing the true mastery is in the editing. It’s in discovering how everything fits together to make a cohesive story. Those synapses in your brain only fire once you have completed the first draft and started synthesizing all that gooey information into something that makes sense.

The same thing is true in all forms of art. It’s not hard to create a sculpture form that looks vaguely like a person and give up. It’s not hard to draw a sketch, or doodle in a sketch book. Those skills are found in many people. However, developing that raw form into a finished product is where the skill comes in.

And that first finished product is going to be awful, but you will learn so much about technique that your next finished product will be better. You will only get better with each successive finished project, and faster as well. That is the irony of finishing things. While it might take you 10 hours to finish a crappy art print today, next year, after finishing dozens of them, you might be able to crank out a masterpiece in only a couple of hours.

In finishing projects, you will strengthen the connective tissue in your brain that helps you figure out the whys and hows behind things not working, and that’s when you start leveling up quickly.

As you complete projects your respect in the creative community grows, as does your skill. By completing a project, you are seen as somebody that finishes things, and that is a rare quality. In finishing things, you start believing in yourself more as well.

The more projects you finish, the more professional you will become. The mark of an amateur is starting things. The mark of a professional is finishing them.

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One comment on “Sell Your Soul: Finish Things

  1. Thank you for your article. Awesome.