When a project is over you have to decide if it’s reached an end or if it’s finished. Is it something you can come back to later if you want or are you just going to wipe your hands and move on.
In last week's chat with Steve Ogden at TheSparkAndTheArt.com/34 we talk about how things get done. He has done several projects. If you haven’t already I’d suggest going back and listen to hear about quite a few of them. One thing that got me thinking about was the difference between ending and finishing.
In our interview with Chris Seth Jackson (TheSparkAndTheArt.com/12) we talk about Stop Doing What Isn’t Working. He had to make a decision about his music marketing website, blog and podcast because it wasn’t doing what he’d hoped it would. Some of it was money some of it was audience. But he had to make a decision to call it done and move on to a new thing.
When Seinfeld stopped making TV shows he made the decision call the show done because it wasn’t inspiring him anymore.
When Steve Ogden (I promise these thoughts will all connect at some point) talks about how his current web comic Doctor Magnifico may come to an end at 100 strips because he can’t quite find a big enough audience that’s his right as creator to call it done.
Now. All of these are done. But which are Finished and which are Ended? Seinfeld is finished. There are no more episodes coming there are no reunion episodes planned. I mean never say never but I’m sure if you talked to Jerry about the likelihood of new Seinfeld shows he’d say never.
When you talk to Chris Seth Jackson he speaks like HowToRunABand.com is finished. No more podcasts no more blog posts or ebooks. He’s brushed the dust from his hands and moved on.
The comic strip Calvin And Hobbes is finished. The artist Bill Watterson, like Jerry Seinfeld, wrote a final strip and walked away.
But when Steve Ogden talks about his online graphic novel Moon Town I feel like he doesn’t talk about it as though it’s finished. It’s just ended. The episode has ended but if the opportunity presented itself there is still more story to continue, animations to be made and books to be created.
So, if Steve's Doctor Magnifico is done at 100 strips it’ll be interesting to know if it ends like Moon Town or if it gets finished like Calvin & Hobbes.
Here’s where you get to do some thinking
- Are you scared to start a project because you can’t see an end?
- What are some rules you can set to help create a sense of destination?
- Can you break off just a small chunk of the project so you can get to an end and move on to the next bit?
- Are you scared to stop a project because you don’t want to feel like a failure?
- Is there a way you can give the project and end knowing that it can be revisited if new opportunities arise?
- Are you nervous to stop working on a long project because you know it will actually be finished when you do?
- Wether you end or finish a project do you know the next thing you’re going to work on?
Do you know someone who is struggling with what to do with a project that isn’t quite working for them? I’d be super grateful if you shared this episode with them. You can send them the URL TheSparkAndTheArt.com/35
Did you have any comments about today’s episode? Do you think I got Ending and Finishing backards? Let me know on twitter @SH_Tucker.